Thursday, April 2, 2009


Writing about writing I would say makes me cranky. I guess I could analyze why it does to death. Besides that, saying that writing about writing makes me cranky is an absolute. It is not absolutely true that writing about writing makes me cranky. That happens some of the time, but not always. Just like so many other things in life there is some range, some diversity, and some give-and-take.

I do tend to be critical about my writing; as I have said, self-critical, so much so that it is difficult to spit it out without changing this or that and moving things around and making different selections of words. It all makes me think of a training session we had at work. I was an appeals officer and as such held hearings with individuals or groups of individuals who were trying to get a proposed assessment reduced or waived completely. Ascertaining the individuals' credibility was a great part of that process.

So one time in a continuing professional education seminar they invited a guest who was an "expert" on assessing credibility, or truthfulness. Anyway, he said that we all have a different process of thinking and gave an illustration. He told about him and a buddy who had taken a motorcycle out to the desert someplace --- someplace remote and far removed from society. Once they got there, something happened to the motorcycle and they couldn't get it to run. Together they were trying to figure it out, and the guy's buddy kind of thought out loud, kept on talking and wouldn't stop, saying everything that came into his mind

It drove the guy telling the story crazy, because he needed the quiet and a calm moment or two alone in order to think and be creative.

Sometimes it is hard to write continuously because you find yourself thinking and analyzing too much. Trying to be audacious and make what you say or write have some flair. Or you are just simply tired and unable to seize upon something you think adequately interesting to put down the page. Any number of reasons. Imagination is the only constraint. It is difficult just to go on, to let yourself go, to kill the thing inside you that makes you wary. So, sometimes it is difficult to write fast on an ongoing basis. You run out of things to say and you have to think about where you want to go.

It's funny now that I think back on it how in school I had to write things down longhand and, if they needed to be turned in formally, I had to use a typewriter to get it all down. I was never a very skilled typer. I was always clumsy and slow. Even though I worked as hard as anybody else in my typewriting classes, I moved like a turtle. Maybe part of it was that I had that hesitation that I continue to have even trying to copy something from one page onto another. Maybe it's built into my genes and I can't overcome it.

I have often thought that I am better at being a participant in a conversation than being the instigator of a conversation or the person who carries the weight of conversation. I don't know that I'm that good a storyteller; I don't remember well or I don't take the time to remember well or rehearse things in my mind over and over so that I can retell them well. I guess it comes back to being lazy. But there you go, being negative again. And I don't really believe that I am lazy. I think I probably just utilize my time thinking in another vein, doing something else. I don't know, I'd have to think about it to decide.

I guess I need to pay more attention to the way I go about writing rather than what I want to turn out. Maybe if I did that, I would learn something insightful about my process. Then later I could look at the actual writing and decide what I had, whether I should throw it away or tweak it. It'd be nice to be able to write as free and easy as some conversations proceed. But then, usually I don't have somebody to have a nice conversation with. I just have myself. But I've found that if I put my mind to it I can take both sides of the conversation and do pretty well. On the other hand, lurking there is the notion that I am not the dominant individual to carry on a conversation --- I'm not good at that, as being dominant.

Dear watcher, you better watch out. I have every intention of destroying you. I want you alive only when I want you alive. That doesn't include when I'm getting words down for the first time in a creative way. At that particular point I want you dead. Yeah, dead.

But my internal voice --- my watcher --- says dead, dead is such a permanent state. You don't want me dead, do you? What about when you need me, say later, when you want to edit something. Yeah, you don't want me dead. I knew you wouldn't.

Okay, I say. Maybe I don't want you dead. But I want to isolate you. I want you out of my life at critical times when I don't need you or want you

My internal voice says, how fair is that? Why should I have to be isolated, kept away from you. I've kept you out of trouble so long and so often. In fact, one of the reasons you can carry on a conversation at all is because you like to utilize me to criticize or pick at what other people say, what other people do, the flaws in their stories, the chinks in their armor.

I don't know, I don't know if it will ever work to kill this guy. He just doesn't want to die. But maybe I can lock him up for certain periods of time and devote the time solely to me and my creativity. Now that would be nice. That would be nice.

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