Writing is (for some of us) a “thing” we keep trying to do. A ‘thing” that we NEED to do to keep ourselves sane in an impossibly insane world. We attempt to fit our “writing” into our busy schedules…because if we don’t…we suffer for it. It is a noble attempt on our part to keep ourselves pleasant company for others as well. Writers who do not write…get grumpy and miserable…no one likes to deal with such people, now do they?
Trying to make time to do the things that keep us happy (and well?) becomes a little like attempting to “nail Jello to a wall”, doesn’t it? We keep trying to find the TIME to do these “things”, we use different “tools” to get there, deciding to write our thoughts down on scraps of paper (napkins, tissue, receipts?) whatever’s handy when that “thought” hits us. You know, that “thought” that is so profound it veritably makes our minds “shake” with excitement. That “thought” that we must absolutely “nail down” on paper? Then we scramble for a pen and paper, we scramble for a tablet, or a laptop…or (?) any means by which to hang on for dear life to that “wonderful piece of wisdom that dropped into our brain, and unless we “nail it down” will wiggle and jiggle and slither away like Jello…that can’t be nailed…to anything.
IF we are lucky enough to capture our own “wisdom”, the next step is what we do with it. Can we incorporate it into a timely blog? Is it something that will make good poetry? Or can we use it in a book of some sort? The sky is the limit when we are making plans, isn’t it? We imagine ourselves taking off into the “wild blue yonder” comfortably seated on this fantastic and absolutely mind-numbingly wonderful “thought” of ours. The possibilities are endless and we ride the high for as long as we can…or until we are distracted and lose the piece of paper or the “file” onto (or into) which we entrusted out mental treasure. We can spend hours looking for it, and it may never be seen again, and so we accept that the “Jello” has escaped and we go back to wondering whether or not we will EVER write anything of great significance at all. We sulk a bit, and blame ourselves for misplacing our “treasure” and then…one day…(again) when we least expect it…while we are sitting somewhere just pondering the universe, life and the miniscule part we play in the larger picture…another thought hits us. WHAM! It’s BRILLIANT, our mind tells us…hurry, hurry and jot it down…NOW!
This process repeats itself over and over for any aspiring amateur or even accomplished professional writer. I don’t care how many files or file cards an organized writer has…there will still, always, be that moment when a thought crashes in and has no place to land! If we are “lucky”, and have a good memory, (which I don’t), chances are that thought can be trapped in the twisted threads of memory up there, in the tangled grey matter of a mind that holds and actually stores stuff…not just useless trivial stuff (like my mind), but honest to goodness stuff that one can actually find good use for. So let’s just say, we ARE that lucky…and we CAN remember…what then?
Well…we still need to find the time to actually “write” our “thing”. That “thing” built around that one saved thought (or many saved thoughts), that will make us feel accomplished as writers. That word itself, is a difficult word for an “aspiring” writer to even use. Most of us, (me especially), have trouble seeing ourselves as “writers”. We WANT to write, and indeed we DO write…but a lot of our “work” doesn’t really make it to the “surface”…it is kept in notebooks, on memo pads, tucked into our underwear drawer (mine), where no one will come upon it and have the pleasure (or pain) of reading it. That is both a blessing and a curse now, isn’t it? If no one gets to read it, no one will know how wonderful it is…but they will also not get a chance to critique it, or SLAM it down as “BAD WRITING”. Most of us (?) would not mind sharing our written “stuff”, if we were guaranteed a pat on the back and a “well done!”, or at the very least, a commentary that starts and ends with “Hmmmm…that was very interesting!” BUT…there’s the other side of that damn coin, isn’t there? What if someone (totally tactlessly and without an ounce of compassion) blurts out something like “Now that is the worst thing I have EVER read! How can you write drivel like that and profess to be a “writer”? That CAN happen you know…and it HAS happened, I am sure, to many a writer who either went on from there to never write again, OR…decided that the NEED to write, far outweighed the damages of such cruel and merciless critique.
Face it…there is no one that can be “everyone’s cup of tea”. We are all unique in that we have different tastes, different needs and desires, wants and dreams. It is only when we attain the courage to write for ourselves…to take that thought and build on it something we feel good about…that we can truly say we have “arrived”. Needing to write trumps ALL. A writer who is meant to write, cannot stop him or herself from writing indefinitely…it simply is not possible. So knowing that, “we” go forth and call ourselves writers…because we …write. We will continue this process of writing till our memories are “dust in the wind” and our collected scraps of thoughts are scattered and lost forever. We (some of us) … may be published at some given point in time, and the “world” will have the pleasure of sharing in our “gifted thoughts”…but even if that never happens, in our lifetimes, we will know…yes we will…that we were writers. We felt the need within us to write and we did so…we “nailed that Jello to the wall” and we watched it wiggle and squiggle…but before it could slither away, we captured it in buckets and just kept on trying…we never gave up because writers are not quitters…they persevere against all odds. They make Jello stand up and stop quivering…yup…that’s what writers do!