This is what happens before I hit publish on a post: I read or see or hear something that I can’t get out of my mind — a photo or piece of art work, a turn of phrase, an idea argued by someone who I disagree with or an idea I believe in that someone finally articulated — and I roll it around in my mind as I go about my life for days. I find a way to approach the idea spontaneously, usually during that time when I’m half asleep and half awake; I’m in between the dream world and real world. I start writing it out in my Morning pages (Julia Cameron’s creative tool. If you don’t know anything about it, I recommend finding out more about it here) even before I get out of bed. I do research. I write a rough, rough draft with pen and paper. I type another draft. If the draft is 1000 words or longer, I’ll print out 2 or 3 drafts and edit them.
It’s exhausting. And comforting.
I like taking time to contemplate and to try to get as deep and honest as I can on a topic. I love the editing process. As Gloria Steinem said, “I do not like to write — I like to have written.” I love the feeling after having bashed a piece out and I can start cutting, simplifying, clarifying. I love to pay attention to the details — punctuation, misspellings, and fixing mistakes in logic. I love reading something I wrote and catching a phrase that doesn’t sound right when I read it out loud.
Eventually, I want to just be the editor of a blog that is a reflection on my sensibility. You may be wondering “What makes you think you can be an editor?” Valid question. I have no experience or training. Yet, I think I’d be great at it and I’m not going to wait for permission to do it.
Editing allows me to do what I really love more than anything — reading.
But I still want to work on my writing. Stephen King wrote “when you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done you have to step back and look at the forest.” I love spending time looking at the forest but I want to spend more time scanning and identifying of the trees. No — I want to have more fun looking at the trees. So, I’m going to spend less time looking at the forest.
I’m going to post everyday for the next week. I don’t know when or how or on what. It’s scary. I’ve avoided it because I’m afraid every post will be a rant — angry, repetitive, frivolous rants. Rants are fun to write and read, but not everyday. I’m afraid to deviate from my posting schedule. I’m afraid I won’t have anything to write and some days I may not, but I will post something.
I’m going to respond to whatever comes up and just write.
It’s exciting. Like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute is “exciting”. I want to fail, make mistakes and messes, and get comfortable doing it.
I’m going to “write from (my) gut and let the stuff stay flawed” as Louis C.K. advised. We’ll see what happens.