Monday, April 28, 2008


Do you get scared before posting an intimate story, poem, or intense and questioning feelings? Do you feel compelled to share them anyway... to open your soul so that the world can embrace it or trample it at will?

I find it easier to expose myself to many people at once than to just one person privately. Maybe it's because there's a lower chance of rejection, ridicule, anger, disgust or even shame. Because there must be someone out there who has experienced even the tiniest bit of what I write.

I'm thinking about why I write. Yes, it's expression and I use it as a release, to clarify and then try to look more objectively at my thoughts and feelings. But I think I write for understanding, interaction, feedback and accomplishment.

My writing voice is much different from my speaking voice. The tones and word rhythms I hear in my head are more formal. Isn't that funny? You would think they would be more casual. But maybe its because I view my thoughts and emotions with such intensity that is deserving of a more serious and formal tone/voice to express them. I love to write and forgot how much I loved it... how it flows from my head to my fingers.

There was a time when I refused to write on my computer. I was used to a more visceral experience... of my pen pressing down hard on paper leaving marks of the letters on the pages underneath. Crossing sentences and words out because I disliked the way they fit was always down with numerous strokes which then used to annoy me when I felt that I needed that phrase or word in another part of what I was writing. I would have to stare at the paper to find the shapes of the letters hidden under the marks.

Then I started to use computers and saw that the words could flow more freely, quicker than with my right hand and the callus on my middle finger, that bump from gripping the pencil and carving my words. It has started to get smaller and not as noticeable. Believe it or not my brain still works faster than my fingers and when I have a thought of another line to follow if I don't write it down it's possible to lose it as I get involved in the thoughts I am writing at that moment.

It can get distracting sometimes. I prefer to finish the thought I'm in the middle of rather than to write down a reminder word or phrase afraid of losing the flow. And now I have done just that and am racking my brain trying to concentrate on these words hoping that the idea will decide to come out of hiding, as if it's punishing me for ignoring it.

I even reread all the above to see if it would kick start it, but it seems that it's gone. But instead I go back to how I used to shuffle the papers around. And I've just remembered that I wanted to write about how I would agonize over first sentences, how I would write and re-write them. Or even start with the second sentence knowing that something a certain rhythm, cadence of words naturally belonged in front of it. I used to place the papers with different sentences and switch them around till I felt they fit together.

Do you write with a rhythm in your head knowing that a certain word comes next with two syllables and the emphasis on the first one? I do. If I can't remember the word I want I don't usually fill it in with a synonym instead I leave it blank and come back to it later. Re-reading and drumming out the beats of the word in my head until it comes to me or until I use a thesaurus. I do this when I write prose as well as poetry.

I just read an essay on poetry and on the rhythm of syllables. I need to read it again so that I understand it better and can actually use it and the terms describing it that were written there. When I read different authors the words on paper set a rhythm in my head. I like the way it feels, different than my own thoughts.

I guess people would call it a style of writing but when I hear that word it reminds me of the characters and descriptions a writer uses not their____. I also find that writing late at night or very early morning the words flow easier. Is it less barriers because my mind is tired after a long day and thoughts and feelings come out??? Don't know. I'm getting a little too tired to write now it's about four in the morning, and I've been listening to the slight click of my fingers on the keyboard.

What a difference from the sounds of typewriters or even older keyboards. Maybe it's easier for me to write with a computer now because the sound is less distracting to the rhythms in my head. But I remembered one more point about how I also write using an informal voice. That's when I hear my talking voice in my head. It's when I feel as if I'm having a conversation, maybe a more relaxed or joking conversation with the reader. And that made me think that maybe my formal voice I also use my formal voice my writing voice when I speak. Hmmmm.

Too tired to continue and the thoughts are not fighting for attention in my head anymore. My eyes are closing so I'll end this post. I'll read it later to edit it for spelling etc., but this one just wouldn't leave me alone until it was done. Good night or should I say good morning the birds have been singing for over a half hour now. That makes sense considering that its now 6:30. I thought I started writing a little earlier. Guess not. G'morning to you guys I'm off to get some much needed eye rest.

After reading this over again before I posted, I remembered another thought that I lost while I was writing. It's that I don't listen to music when I write. I like quiet. That way I can hear the rhythms more clearly... so maybe that's another reason why I like to write late at night or early in the morning the world and my life is less noisy.

1 comment:

Ghostwriter Gus said...

My best stories come to me when I"m almost falling asleep. Don't know why. As far as poetry, I find the more I try to make it for those who appreciate rhyme and form, the less it expresses what I want so it's easy to lose patience and move into prose. When I've got lots of time, I sometimes try to move to poetry, but sometimes I have to break rules to excise the thought from my heart onto the page. For me, poetry comes out in phrase-thoughts, the same way sentences are born within prose - I then take the poetry and rearrange the thoughts in a cogent order, eliminating those that no longer fit and trying to reword the thoughts so that they'll pass from a status of prose to poetry. But either way, they just come from me because my thinking voice is a lot like my writing voice, because I'm a derivative thinker and my mind is always making metaphors in an attempt to process, understand and thus to some degree control the cacophony that is our life. Does it always work? No. Only a small percentage of what I (I suppose others, too) think gets onto paper. It's a process of distillation, like boiling off the dross to get to the gold. But once it's out of me, the pain or anxiety detaches itself, the thoughts having been duly organized and recorded, and I can move on...