Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I was a Writer. You can find that in some of the older posts on this blog. Especially many of the first ones. Even now, when I go through my archives, I envy the clarity of my previous thoughts. Nowadays, everything seems so opaque, so obtuse, so changeable, and Writing is so so hard.
Today, I thought about Writing. I always think about Writing. Actually, I obsess over Writing all the time. The act of Writing, the process of Writing, the magic of Writing, the miracle of Writing. So obsessed with Writing that I don’t dare do any capital ‘W’ Writing. This is the kind of writing that builds, understanding, transcends ideas, unites new thoughts, systemises disparate experiences, clarifies your intentions, distils your desires and heals the soul.
Writing requires you to have something to say beyond the arid technical process of stringing words into a sentence. Writing has to come from the heart, transmute the soul and issue with a force of will from the page. Nowadays, I don’t have anything that I want to say with that degree of heart. You can’t Write when you’re struck down by the process of simply living.
So, when I say I don’t Write, don’t get the impression that I mean I have literally nothing to say. I’m still as opinionated as ever. I lack the will to do real work. To turn ideas, snatches, half collected thoughts into words. To form real opinions. The ability to see snatches in your head, of the perfect sentence half-deformed, the perfect counterpoint stillborn, the emotive, engaging gripping single sentence bound to a wheelchair by the crippling inability to give it the paragraph that it deserves.
Wanting to Write, when all you can do is write, is to know you’re producing unintentional grotesques when you wanted to imitate the Pieta. I won’t do it. I won’t waste my time or my readers on poor quality drivel that I could generate by just dumping words on the page. Some of it might be of quality, and some of it might not be. Who wants to generate churn, fodder, wasted words that achieve such a poor result. Most importantly, I don’t get anything out of writing. Writing, was emotional, it was catharsis, it was growth, it was learning: writing is a faint shadow on a hazy summer day of that feeling.
Much easier just to keep doing things as before. Small letter ‘w’ writing is easy. Write an email. Write a memo. Write a facebook comment. That you can do at least. Cause there’s no debate about why you’re doing that, or what you’re saying, or what it ultimately means. The answer is easy, it means nothing. Nothing in the long run turns on how I write those things, because my credit as a writer isn’t engaged. Those are about my skills as a professional, as a communicator, as a thinker. Nobody cares (past the threshold of comprehension) about the clarity, voice, warmth, feel, heft, weight, style of the writing. Nobody cares about what it means, beyond its surface level narrative. Nothing is bought together, no lessons are learned, no growth is possible, no healing found.
Nothing given. Nothing gained. Nothing written. Nothing learned. Nothing earned. Nothing lost.
Just poor writing.