Wednesday, November 30, 2005

there is no try...

I tried to write last night. The key word in that sentence is tried. But trying is not the same as writing. I am, therefore, switching verbs. Tonight, I am not trying to write. Tonight, I am writing.

I had a good idea, really. And parts of it were, in my opinion, stellar prose. A sentence here, half a paragraph there. But in my attempt to be brilliantly “writerly,” I neglected to just write, and it wasn’t fun anymore. And the idea was to have fun, was it not?

Or was it?

What am I doing here? Really? Is this simply my grown-up equivalent of attention-seeking? Compliment-fishing? Worth-achieving? Approval-attaining? I was so hoping to have outgrown that. But the presence of the site meter affirms more than just my need for affirmation…

There is, of course, more to it than that. Most days. Then there are days like the last two, when all that motivates me is the thought of what will generate the most comments and thereby give my fragile ego the biggest boost for my buck. Those days, in retrospect, are much more frustrating and much less enjoyable. And my writing, quite frankly, becomes overdone.

So, what AM I doing? What is it that I enjoy about this little “exercise?” At a base level, I suppose simply enjoy putting words together. Some people think in poetry—I think in prose, constantly turning phrases in my mind as I narrate the world around me. Life feels, at times, like watching a movie on DVD with the commentary turned on—internal dialogue over the external.

Then there are the words themselves, the mention of which prompts an embarrassing confession: I was one of those freaky, nerdy kids who enjoyed diagramming sentences. As in, did it at home for fun. Really. Word-smithing stirs something within me—there is a joy that comes from creatively saying exactly what I mean to say. The satisfaction it produces is, I must admit, a bit odd…

But there is more to it than these things, I am certain. My friend Dean commented once that writing is largely about seeing (or something vaguely along that vein)—perhaps I am a person who sees things, and I like to share what I see, in hopes that others may see something as well. On a good day, it is this that motivates me to write, to post, to pursue this dream. The little lamb is not the only one who asks, “Do you see what I see?”

I’ve heard it said, by people who are multi-lingual, that they must often shift between languages in order to articulate a thought precisely. My heart knows this. There are certain moods, certain thoughts, which my heart can only convey through my music. There are certain moments I can only capture through my lens. But then, oh, but then there is my writing…

…my native tongue.

7 comments:

Dean said...

Indeed, the struggle can be intense.

Of course, I'd like to have a wider audience but I find I'm more satisfied on the days I focus more on having a good time and writing what seems important.

Souns like you're experiencing the same thing.

Cynthia said...

This is precisely why I got rid of my meter. As if it decides how great I am. I'm writing for me now.

amy said...

Oh I understand! This performance and recognition thing is killing me with grad school too. Can't I just be there to learn?? Can't we just be here (on blogger or xanga or whatever) because writing is who we are at our core? Because it is how we make sense of the craziness around us? Because it is how we communicate with God and with ourself? Or simply because we love words? And you feel like you've got it one day and then the next day rolls around...

Beth said...

Lorie,

We must get on the internet at the same time of night (when children are FINALLY asleep).

I love this entry. The reason I don't record people at my site is that I'm afraid to see that 8 people have read it since I started. Actually, maybe 8 is an overestimation. Thanks for being one of 8!

I do think we write because we see. And communicating what we see makes it more real.

But, don't we all want others to read what we've written? I guess we're just human.

Beth

Julie Morrison said...

Theres a meter somewhere? I have a website, after 400 hits and no feedback I think I have come to the realization it was never about me.All I want my writing to do is bless God. f it isn't going to do that, then I keep it to myself. Your writing blesses me and inspires me through 'blank' days. I often feel like my life is scraps of paper waiting to be threaded into some piece. Between the first breakfast ( sending two out at different times every morning)and the last cup of coffeesometimes afternoon, I feel like I am only wife and mother. When my mind races with ideas, I haven't as much time to write, and when I do ...well everyone knows THAT one...keep on keepin on.

lorie said...

To echo Dean, sounds like we're ALL experiencing the same thing...

Glad to have some fellow writers out there who "get it..."

Thanks!

John McCollum said...

Hi. I'm leaving a comment now. Oh, and nice snowman.