Friday, December 21, 2007

Double Edged Pen

I have never been very good at keeping a written journal. Honestly, I've wasted enough money on Day Timers to realize that I can't even keep a date book current. I keep most things organized in my head, and it seems to work for me. The downside, of course, is that no one else knows the status of anything I am working on. So, then, it comes of somewhat of a surprise that I keep this blog going. It would seem to be somewhat out of character.

What I have found, or more accurately, rediscovered, is that I truly enjoy writing. I like the order it brings to my thought process. I am forced to consider each word...its meanings both actual and connotational. I confess to having a poor grasp on grammar, except to know that one should not begin a sentence with a conjunction or end with a preposition. My ignorance was brought home with painful clarity when my 6th grade son asked for help with his Language Arts homework. Linking verbs? Present perfect? Ummmm, don't you have any math homework you need help with? The process, however, of taking nebulous ideas and setting them down in ordered prose is tremendously satisfying.

I have also found that while I appreciate and collect pens and paper, I don't necessarily enjoy writing longhand at great length. My pen just cannot keep up with my brain when the words come spilling out. While writing in any format requires mental discipline, it requires so much more when one uses ink and paper. The editing process is much messier than when one can simply backspace to correct spelling, usage, grammar or punctuation. I suppose the downside to that is one cannot track mistakes and corrections.

Unfortunately enjoyment does not necessarily translate into ability. There is writing here in blogland that is truly spectacular. It has an expressiveness, rhythm and music to it that is just beautiful. That is what I am striving for. My speech tends to be more formal than most, and that is reflected in my prose. I think I associate formality with the notion of order and precision, or maybe just it is a tool that allows me to distance myself from the ideas I am expressing long enough to do so coherently.

It is in the distancing from an idea that I can examine it more closely. That I can see its many facets. I do not write here out of a sense of exhibitionism. I write here to purge myself of some demons. To give order to chaos. Occasionally just to vent. Even more rarely, to philosophize. And since I visit others and leave my mark around select sites, I am bound to be read myself. It has gotten me into some trouble, in fact. It may be that I will start a separate blog to write about things I do not want discovered by the casual or purposeful eye. Writing has become a need, just as exercise has become a need. There are times when the words flood my brain and demand release. There are times I work ideas through in writing, and times when the finished piece comes out nearly whole. Either way, the process is cathartic if occasionally costly.



Maria said...

I'm the opposite. I could write for hours in longhand. But, at a computer, I seize up. I really have to work hard to get the words from my brain to my fingers. When I write in pen, it is effortless.

But, isn't it fun traveling around Blogville and seeing what is out there?

SOUL: said...

i am so with ya on the demanding release thing. good line btw.
i sometimes say--if i didn't write (something) i would explode. i think it is true.
merry christmas!!!

The World According to Me said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Enjoy!
Here's to a blogging 2008.

JYankee said...

A lot of it is true... a very Merry Christmas to you and your family! See ya in 2008!

SOUL: said...

just came by to say hellooooo