Saturday, August 16, 2008

Writing

It's been a long, long time since I've written anything.  It was over a year before I started putting my thoughts here again.  Before that, I wrote nothing of real substance for probably years.  My writing has been confined to chats with friends -- and that's not really writing.  That's just typing.

I had forgotten (again) how it is to write, where the words form out of nothing in my head and flow out of my fingers.  I forget how satisfying it is to watch the page fill with words, words that I chose.  Those words that express my ideas.

But that's not all that writing is to me.  It's also another chance to look at the beauty of words, to enjoy the characters of which they're formed.  "Q" and "R" are my favorite letters.  I doodle them all the time.  I've flirted with the notion of typeface design but never explored it.  Why?  Because the imagination in type design is coming up with an "I" that is exciting.  I'm not sure I have it in me.

The page fills one character at a time, one word, one sentence.  The lonely "T" becomes "the" and "then," "there," "therapy," and "theory."  "Thermopolis." "Thelma."  "N" becomes "no," and a "non sequitur."

The satisfaction of writing for me is not finishing.  If it were, I'd be the successful novelist that I envisioned myself being as a senior in high school.  The satisfaction for me is achieving "the zone."  That is to say, when the words forming in my head so strongly evoke the vision that I'm not typing the words.  What gets to the page is so completely in sync with what I'm envisioning in my minds eye, that I am doing neither and both at the same time.

I'm blessed with a visual imagination.  What I imagine can play out before my eyes.  Words representing things transform before my eyes into those things.  The computer screen ceases to be and I whirl about my ideas and they about me as if they were physical things with gravity and contour.

That's where the magic is for me.  That's why I write, for that sensation.

Funny thing, it doesn't have to be fiction that I'm constructing for it to occur.  It can happen even in the midst of this writing:  I was seeing the ideas whirling when I wrote that.  I don't know what an idea looks like.  But I saw it just the same.  Maybe felt is a better word.  Regardless, in the moment I was typing that, I was no longer in the room.  I was there, where the letter shapes I love become the words I love.  And the words I love articulate my ideas and declarations.

That's the real world for me.  The rest is just material.

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