Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lost Language

Some of the things that Manic wrote about on his little website yesterday (oh, he posted it on Tuesday, but I read it yesterday) really made me think about my own Writing and how little I've been doing lately. He doesn't really talk about writing much, but he mentions his process (third paragraph) and the way he describes it made me hunger for metaphor. I suddenly realised that I've been forgoing Writing much longer than I should.

I should explain what I mean by Writing. I don't mean the silly little anecdotes and quips that I write either here or in e-mails or for school or even in my journal. I do that kind of writing everyday and while there is something to be said for getting something down on paper (so to speak), it just doesn't count. There's too much casualness and informality to this kind of writing. What I've been neglecting is really constructed, careful, meaningful, perfectly formed Writing. The sort of composition that makes the best poetry and stories.

I used to Write every day- on top of e-mails and journals and letters and such- but due to a serious case of writer's block, I got out of the habit. Now I've recovered from the block, but I'm out of the habit of getting things out of my head, so I now have a massive population of poems and words and phrases floating around inside of me. I feel like I've lost some of my talent at translating them. Whenever I pick up a pen, everything tries to come out at once and nothing is quite as good as it was in my mind. I lose my courage and walk away.

Part of the problem is that I hold myself to a very high standard. Anyone who has ever heard me rant about "poets" knows part of the reason. Poetry, especially, is so deeply personal and there are so many "poets" out there who are so posturing and pretentious that their poetry (which is usually terrible) gets lost behind their image. I'm loathe to bring an imperfect poem into the world because I want to just be someone who writes poetry. I want my image to get lost behind my poems; that can't happen if they're just a bunch of empty bullshit. So I hide from Writing even though I know all it would take is consistency and some steady work at editing to produce some satisfactory pieces. Now there's so much backlog in my head that the idea of wading through it all is absolutely daunting.

It's high time I got over this! No excuses anymore! I'm going to Write something everyday. I'll force myself if I have to (and I'm sure I will) until I get back in the habit. I'm in dire need of a language laxative (gross). They say that real Writers simply need to write- it's part of who they are. How true it is! I feel like I've lost part of myself since I haven't been Writing. It's time to find Me again.


VeganAaron said...

If you ever want someone to bounce ideas off of, just let me know. I'd love to read anything you want to send me.

Anonymous said...

I understand. Reading the stuff by the great authors is very daunting. But a person has to resist comparing themselves to these great writers as they are/were at their best. As I used to tell my writer friends in my discouraged moments: "I may not know much about writing, but I know what's crap (referring to my stuff).

My point here is that newer writers need to remind themselves that even the greats had to learn, had to develop their great skills; even the best wrote some awful stuff early in their careers - read 'Titus Andronicus' anyone?

Cassie, look to the best stuff as a goal to reach, not a standard to measure yourself to now. It might help to look at some of the early works of your favorite poets. Even if they are ok, I bet they are nowhere near the level of the later efforts.

I wrote a longer post than intended, but that's the way it goes sometimes. Keep writing. Good night now.


Cassie the Great said...

Rusty- Thanks for the encouragement. I'm just whining really.