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25 March 2014 @ 11:13 pm
Can't think of any clever titles right now  
I've been thinking about my writing the last few days. Writing is a huge part of my life, be it my fiction, poetry, or my journal entries. When I'm not actually physically writing, I'm doing it in my head. I'm "writing" during my commute; while exercising; at the grocery store; in the shower; doing chores; on break at work. It's something I'm very passionate about, something I invest a lot of time and energy in, and something that helps me learn and get through a lot of aspects of my life.

And it's funny, I had just been talking in an earlier entry about how so much of my life is lived "internally", inside my own head or in self-contained outlets. Well, I don't think there's a better example of that "internal living" than my writing. Not only do I put hours and hours of time into it, but it serves a variety of uses to me that makes it almost indispensable.

It's entertainment. Whether it comes from my own curiosity, my interest in trying a certain angle or playing with a particular story-line or archetype, or whether they're written simply to satisfy my hankering for a book or story that doesn't exist yet, making up stories is entertainment for me. Skewing expectations is fun; people and there actions and motivations are interesting; world building is legitimately something I could do all the time. Even when I was kid, playing with dolls, playing with my brothers, I was making up stories. Almost every night of my childhood was spent playing out some kind of fantasy or saga in my head as I fell asleep. I even dream stories.

It is exercise. Like any skill my writing abilities needs constant working out, and whether fiction or nonfiction, the more I write the better I get; the greater my ability to shape with words what I see and feel with my internal senses; the keener my intuition and my understanding of how things really are. My stories threaten and challenge me the same way a jigsaw puzzle, or a sports activity, or a video game boss might, and my journal entries and soul-plumbing help me understand more and more who I am and how I fit (or don't fit) into the world.

It is an internal dialogue, and sounding board. Through writing I can vent tirades, complaints, and frightened babbling, and get to see the actual problem, the actual message underneath it. It gives me a chance to express feelings and thoughts I either don't have the time, the opportunity, or the verbal talent to really explain or actually finish through just speaking. Through my writing I can stare my fears and longings in the face without danger and learn to stand them, or at least face them long enough to learn what armor and antidotes can defend from their sting.

It is escape and fantasy. I can move beyond a world or place I find boring or crushing to someplace better, or at least more interesting. I can replace the mundane and the ugly with things marvelous and wonderful and pleasing to the senses. I can work in the kind of vein, and with the kinds of tools, that I long for in the real world and have not been able to find. In my stories I can be the defender, the comforter, the healer, the sword-hand of God. I can rescue those beyond my reach in the real world, and bring justice and punishment to those the cruel as well. I can satisfy that terrible need to heal and fix, and to seek out and set right wrong-doing.

It's also the easiest way I have of clearly communicating about subjects that are complex, important, or that I'm very passionate about, partly because I'm not the best "talker", and partly because a lot of times my "audience" isn't very good at actually listening. Real, written words are a bit harder to just tune out, and when I can control every aspect of what I want to say, how I want to say it, and can control the length, and the speed, everything makes a lot more sense than when I try to communicate it out loud. (As an example, that "give me Ragnarok" entry stemmed from a two-hour long conversation I had on the phone with my mother. I managed to convey something along the lines of what I wanted in that call, but not with nearly as much depth or breadth. Then after I got off the phone, I popped up a document on my computer, and that entire entry just pretty much fell out fully formed in less than ten minutes.)

And it allows me to take this entirely personal, deep, internal aspect of me and my life, and to externalize it in a way. Whether it be my stories or my actual thoughts, through writing I am able to transmute something untouchable and unshareable into thoughts, ideas, feelings, and designs that can be expressed, that can be shared, and that can been seen and felt by others; aspects which otherwise remain entirely pent up within myself. That of course is part of the reason I am so careful when and with whom I share my writing, either fiction or more personal stuff, as both contain huge nuggets of my feelings and thoughts, and often when I hand out parts of myself like that, they're not very thoughtfully handled. But even this entry, how would I have the time or the ability to get all this out verbally, and better yet, to who? Who's going to honestly sit around listening to me blather about myself and my writing if I'm saying it out loud? And yet if I write it, not only do I have a much larger chance of my (non-existent) audience paying attention, but I don't actually really need an audience. I have a piece of paper or a computer screen to take it all in, and best of all, to reflect it all back to me.

PS. I also discovered Terri Windling's blog today. Ah, what a treasure it is! It makes me proud to be a writer, and reading my mind can't help but wandering through all the wonderful hours I've spent invested in the struggles and triumphs of imaginary people, and in creating strange and fantastic worlds. I can't wait to get a better look at it in the next few days. Having things as lovely as this to look forward to are a balm to my soul.
Current Location: Bedroom
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "Warpainting" - The Myrrors