Saturday, July 27, 2013

A rainy Saturday evening

I decided the other day that it would be really cool if I could record myself reading one of my poems and post it here.  So...I've done half of that equation.  I recorded it, and I spent a good hour trying to figure out how to make the file smaller, how to convert it to a different type of file, and how to get it to successfully post here.  I was unsuccessful on all counts.  I'm sure that it's easy if you (a) understand computers and (b) have the right software.  Unfortunately, I strike out on both a and b, and I'm not smart enough to read people's blogs on the issue and figure it out.  This is a serious bummer.

Some random fool also decided to try to hack into my computer this afternoon with his crazy FBI virus scam thing.  So then I had to unhack my computer.  I was successful with this endeavor; however, this was also a serious bummer.

I also (FINALLY) got approval to sit for The Big Test I've been studying for, so I tried to study today.  Right about the time I got halfway through the practice test, I was informed that the site will be down for maintenance this evening, and I won't be able to finish it.  This was the final bummer.  I think I'm through with technology for the day.

I've maintained my patience throughout the day, which is a good thing.  My sister spent the night last night, and I love her dearly, but after a while, I'm just glad to be alone.  The dog and I cuddled on the floor while I unhacked the computer, unsuccessfully attempted to convert files, and started (but didn't finish!) a practice test.  It's raining outside, and I'm okay with that.  It's just been a quiet sort of day.

I read a quote today attributed to Andrea Gibson: "Remember, you didn't come here to write your heart out.  You came to write it in."  As I am nearing the end of my "write something every day for a month" challenge, this is how I feel.  I resist writing like my life depends on it some days.  But when I do it -- when I make myself do it -- all the pieces fall together.  I don't write my heart out.  I write it in, and snap all the pieces around it into place, securing it (and me) together.  I like this image.

I don't understand why it continues to be so difficult sometimes (most times) to convince myself to write.  I go about my day hearing things, seeing things, thinking things, and thinking "ah, I should poem that," or "I like the way that sounds," or just getting that feeling I get of pure pleasure when I think of a phrase that is just right.  When I think of a phrase or a sentence that says exactly what is in my heart.  I don't have synesthesia, but I get these feelings with certain words or images or phrases that are just indescribable. 

(And I do mean indescribable.  I am sitting here, trying to think of how to describe it, and I can't.  It's an emotional thing.  It's a tingling thing.  It's an opening, releasing, closing, burying thing.  It's this bodily thing that happens that has always happened that is addictive and real.  It's why I keep writing -- so I can feel that rush-whir-tinglingness of everything falling together and apart simultaneously). 

I think part of it is that writing (for me) is real.  There's no bullshit.  I have trained myself to be able to write unfiltered.  It's genuine.  It is me.  And this is also scary as hell.  There are times when it is awesome and exciting and beautiful and fulfilling to spend time alone with me on the page.  And there are times when I would just rather not, you know?  There are times when it just isn't awesome, and it does not feel beautiful, and I would much rather avoid and escape and do something mindless and silly instead.  Sometimes I know why...and other times I don't.  There are times when I sit down to write that I just get anxious, because something wants to be said and I'm just not ready for it.  I know, however, that if I let myself start typing -- if I open the channel between my fingers and my heart and get my head out of the way -- it will come onto the paper.  Sometimes I just don't want that to happen. 

I wish, in those times, I could decide to write about something inane.  Or pick something random and exciting from the media to write about.  Like...I don't feel like writing what's in my heart, so I'll write a REALLY PASSIONATE ESSAY on the royal baby.  I WISH I could do that.  It would probably benefit me well.  If it was assigned to me, lord knows I could come up with something.  I've written enough essays and papers about ridiculous topics that I can whip 10 pages out of thin air like it's nothing.  But if I'm writing for me, well, it's just a different story.

However, I can say this: I started this blog 3 years ago, because I wanted to make myself believe that I was a writer and that I had something worthwhile to say.  I started this blog because having others read my writing made me anxious, and because I wanted to believe that my writing could be "good."  I've come a long way in those years.  I can now say with certainty that I absolutely am a writer.  I have much to say and to share.  I can and will share my writing with others -- both with anonymity and in person and out loud.  My writing -- it can be good.  I can also be self-indulgent, riddled with mis-placed commas, overly emotional, poorly written, ridiculous, and boring.  Just like everyone else who ever puts words on the page.  I sometimes produce great writing.  I sometimes produce shitty writing.  Whichever it happens to be, I am not alone.

This perspective doesn't mean that I don't beat myself up over it.  It doesn't mean that I don't berate myself sometimes over my comma usage, tired metaphors, or self-indulgent lines.  I do.  Regularly.  And then I remind myself that this is exactly what writing is about.  Writing crap means one thing: I'm a writer.    I think I'm okay with that.

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