Not Cease from Exploration

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Writing

I am at a loss to understand why more people don't write.

Well maybe they do write, but they don't share their work.  Wait, scratch that, because I actually know many folks who actually dislike writing or, at best, treat it as some required but tedious activity, akin to flossing one's teeth.

Me?  I can hardly fathom the idea of not writing.

I've actually been writing for a very long time.  I have journals and the like going back decades.  This blog, while only going back to 2008, came after another blog I had on some other God forsaken platform.  I still do have all of that work, by the way, squirreled away in a Microsoft Word document buried within some folder that I could eventually find, if I had an hour or so to look.

Writing for me is more than just expression.  It's a kind of all encompassing activity.  It actually helps me sort out the anarchy that lies within my head.  My head, by the way, is a very dangerous, complex place.  Think the stuff I writing here is a bit random in terms of topics?  You should spend a half hour in my head.  Writing serves to create order out of my personal chaos.

The best stuff I've written in this blog is the product of hours on plodding, thinking, plodding and thinking some more.  I almost always, for postings that I view as being important, have a structure in mind as I start typing along.  More often than not that structure results in more words than I actually publish.  If writing is the brutal act of giving voice to my feelings, editing is the act of better understanding those feelings.  Editing is more than fixing typos for me; instead it's very often the process of viewing something through as many different lenses as I can muster.  I don't know what other folks do, but for me I almost always spend more time editing than I do initially composing something.

I'll also add that the best stuff I've written on this blog has helped me far, far more than it helps (or helped) anyone else.  I know, that's not much of a stretch, but it has the benefit of being true.  This virtual place is where some of my frustrations, fears and congealed struggles go to die.  Well at least I hope some of them die, but then again most seem to just go dormant for extended periods of time.

Speaking of lenses, I was once accused of using this blog to relay subtle messages to others.  It's an interesting thought actually, but it does suffer from two almost fatal flaws:  I'm not terribly subtle and I'm really not clever in a devious kind of way.  Trust me, I'm not.  Given the divergent and sometimes randomly confusing ways in which I see things, the whole notion of subliminal messaging would seem to be a exercise in my own futility if it were by design.

There's another thing I really love about writing (as in any writing, not the "good" kind) by the way:  it doesn't really require that much talent to pull off.  For me, it's actually more a form of dictation.  Writing this blog entry is really just dictating thoughts in my head to my finger tips.  Those thoughts could just as easily come from someone else, but the fact that all of the wiring for this act is internal just serves to make the process more efficient.  I like things that are efficient.

As for the writing of others, well the stuff I like to read, at least as far as other blogs are concerned, really runs the gamut and is well reflected on the right hand side of this blog.  One of the blogs I really enjoyed a few years ago was written by a young lady and it had to do, at least on the surface, with fashion and style.  Now in point of act I don't really care about either fashion or style (as I have neither), but the blog in question was really...despite the intent of the author...about how this young professional person viewed the world.  The fashion and style part was kind of set-up for talking about the world from this person's perspective.  Nothing salacious of the sort, just about what it is like to be in the author's shoes.  Sadly, that blog (like so many others) is no longer being written.

I do wonder why so many blogs seem to fad away (with a tip of the hat to Douglas MacArthur).  Maybe when those blogs were started there was an overt or even covert reasoning behind them, and over time they simply accomplish their goal(s).  Maybe the blogs were written as some attempt at ego gratification, an effort I will tell you is deeply flawed, as this is in fact the Internet, a mythical land where things like cinnamon swallowing can become wildly popular.  Maybe some folks approached this under the guise of thinking it wouldn't actually be like, well, "work".

That last point is as a good place as any to end this rant, as it is "work" writing this stuff.  Even the bad stuff.  But it's a kind of work that at least for me is more enjoyment than anything else, being well worth every minute of time invested in it.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please keep writing.
--Andy Palumbo

Stephen Albert said...

I don't think I could stop if I wanted to actually.

Thanks for the comment Andy!

- Steve