Sunday, August 28, 2011

Writer's Remorse?


I start to write and instead of letting the words flow out of my mind and onto the page I start to critique, to analyze and to ask: “What is the purpose here?” Social media, blogs and the internet have so me so flummoxed at times that I don’t know if I should write for something or someone, and if I write for myself what is the purpose? So I stop and I edit and come up with options, more options than I can deal with and then I become overwhelmed and just want to stop. My life is full of unfinished projects and outlines of ideas and plans, but little tangible evidence of all the musings and wanderings of my mind. At times I feel as if I am in a giant word problem where the universe gives me so many clues, but only with extreme focus and hard work will I actually figure out the ones relevant to solving the problem.

Case in point, driving home from work on a daily basis I would think of stories, ideas and plans. Then I would get home, go the bathroom, change my clothes, and grab some food. Poof, all of those ideas would disappear as if they were just part of an exhalation but nothing substantive. Here’s another confession: when I am by myself (or think I am by myself) I talk out loud, in that crazy conversational tone that would lead an observer to wonder if I was off my meds. Each day, in the car I secretly thank the technology gods for making so many types of phones with ear buds. That way, while I converse with the open space in my car, and gesture wildly…people may for a moment, think that I’m on the phone and not entirely crazy.

I’m not afraid of being crazy; there are certainly worse things to be in this world, so I try not to regret the conversations with myself because they are practice runs for all other parts of my life. When I talk out loud, the sheer act of forming each sound with my lips makes me think about how to structure or phrase a sentence that I will write, or a conversation I will have, or allow me to focus on a solution to a pressing problem. I have animated discussions on what to eat, where to go, who to call and I sometimes even allow for commentary on what I’m seeing while driving.

I like to think I’m not the only one doing this. For example, one night as I sat in traffic I watched a young man walk down the street, talking and gesturing to the wind. He did not take any actions to cover up the fact that he was not on the phone, but rather threw himself entirely into the imaginary conversation. I liked that bravado, that willingness to let it all hang out. And perhaps that is why I want to try and write everything down without edits and without a specific purpose in mind. What I write may end up in a blog or a post, and it may not. I just want a way to let the thoughts out, give them some actual form and structure and then allow myself to move onto the next thought, idea or inspiration. And I want to do this without guilt over what I said or didn’t say, or the structure or coherency of my paragraphs. I want no remorse.

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