7anby made a video that described his writing process. I know, every writer’s process is unique, otherwise much of the magic of the written word would be lost, but there was a spark of recognition as he described how when the muse is at work, the words flow effortlessly. I write to achieve these moments. It is such a joy to see your ideas flow out onto the page and be captured for posterity.
Another point of recognition was when he talked about how he needed to write. I feel that way too. I’m not sure that anyone will ever read these words, but I need to write them for my own mental health. I need to write them so that I can become comfortable with the process and start to shape it to my will. I think the mind-page connection has to be firmly established before you can start to successfully shape what goes on to the page. If I think about what I’m writing too much, my censors kick in and I start trying to edit what I’m writing instead of concentrating on getting a draft onto paper. I’ve been told all my life that the most important part of writing is rewriting and perhaps that’s true. But you have to write something first before you can rewrite it.
I suspect that is why so many writers keep journals. This gives then the opportunity to become comfortable with the mind-page connection. It’s just like learning to play a musical instrument. You have to noodle around with it for a while until you’re comfortable with the instrument and then you’ve got to practice. And, as the super athletes tell us, you’ve got practice doing it right. If you practice your mistakes, you’ll get really good at making them.
I doubt that writing in this journal/blog once a day is sufficient to develop the skills and process that I’m after. But it is better than not writing regularly at all. So I’ll continue writing these short essays and when I skip a day, I’ll get back to the grindstone the next day. I’ve learned that that’s how you get in the habit of doing anything that you want to make an integral part of your life. And I want to make writing, video making and exercising into daily activities in my life. Thanks Mike (7anby) for inspiring me to keep this up until I get it down.