I remember one of the first times my wife observed me writing, she said that it looked like I was in another world, and I guess I am. There’s just something to be said for crafting words from thin air, or more accurately creating words to describe feelings and motivations. It’s not easy, but it is exciting, that path from nothing to something, the filling in of white space with black letters strung together and bled out.
When I first started writing it wasn’t that way, not really. I wrote because I needed to do something to deal with my emotions, and punching the wall wasn’t yielding quality results (not to mention it hurt my hand). So I took an old composition book, turned to a new page, and started scribbling random words down, pressing down hard with the pencil until the lead snapped. As time passed I learned how to reduce the random nature of those words, how to channel them to soothe my jangled nerves instead of fighting with the pencil.
Those first few writings were still scattered, though, because my brain was always going a mile a minute and I tried to get everything down as quickly as it came to me. That proved to be a huge mistake, and my writing suffered for it because it took me ages to discover and fix the problem, to begin organizing my thoughts so they wouldn’t overwhelm me. Then it became magic.
When I say magic I mean that every time I sit down to write it has a calming effect because it takes me to other worlds, even if the writing is non-fiction. There’s nothing quite like picking the precise word to convey the exact emotion I hope to portray. When a sentence comes together like they often do, there’s nothing better to me. More often than not I sit down to write this blog and an idea just pops into my head that I end up fleshing out and publishing.
The beauty, the joy of text, is in its idea and execution. It’s one thing to have a million ideas, and to even speak them aloud, but they don’t take on an actual form and solidity until they’re down on paper, or burned into this flash drive. Often when I look back on something I wrote last week, last month, last year, or 10 years ago, I notice things I didn’t see back then. I’m often amazed at how language speaks through me, and not the other way around.