Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Word-Huggers, Write & Unite - 1.

How do I write? Let me count the ways?

Oh Yeh! Oh sure! Here it is again. Like so many days. That blank page staring at me, ogling me as it were with its featureless, expressionless, poker-faced, sterile-inducing stare. Insisting I must write and it will be so inexcusable if I don’t.

But what? What will I write?

And so with mind as blank as the page confronting me, I review those propositions that induce others to write.

There are the literary rules of the basic approach. That starts with an outline followed by elaboration in each paragraph. Wonderful in theory: but for me, it never works.

I can only write the paper first and create the outline later. Cause, honest to God, when I try to do the outline first, I lose the conviction needed to write the paper and completely forget what I originally (and cleverly) planned to say for the sake of emotional impact.

Of course, I never let my language-arts teachers know that the writing preceded the outline. There was no point because all of my teachers were too entrenched in the ‘proper way of doing it’ to accept that some writers are too endowed with creativity and imagination to write emotionless stuff.

So now, for the sake of clarity, please allow me to call myself “a writer”. And so, my theory is, if writers don’t laugh or weep while doing the writing or a reading review, neither will anyone else. So if there are anomalies to be considered, that is the kind of anomaly I am.

I have not the ability to simply write a paper that adheres to literary mechanics for the sake of nothing more than a passing grade or another blog posting. That would produce something frightfully foul-written. Writing so foul-written that I promise you it would pain both writer and reader’s artful senses as deeply as auditory senses ripped by a three-hour-violin-solo with a resin-less bow.

But sometimes without an internal level of emotion to work with, writers still need to write. On those days, when shallow convictions are all one has to work with, I pretend I am having coffee with a guest as blank and staring and faceless as a fresh sheet of paper. And as we converse, with he or she being so shy, quiet, and introverted, I convert to paper what is said. The finished work sounds like ‘sermonizing’ and I guess it is, having flowed from a rather one-sided conversation.


But now I have a totally new writing mandate/prompt that I will tell you about in my next post.


joared said...


Anonymous said...

Had to giggle at the note of writing the outline after the story; I've done this too! I suppose that just to fulfill expectations in a classroom, many a writer has fudged the rules and been the more creative for it.


Pauline said...

what? another place where you and I differ? I love the blank page even if I have nothing to say - that pristine space so full of possibility. Anything could appear there!

can't wait to learn of your writing mandate/prompt

Anonymous said...

I like your imagery of a visit with a blank "guest" whom you must bring out. Think I'll try it. I can't make outlines either. My forebrain has nothing in it.

Tell us more.

Roberta S said...

hi joared. Yeh, it's another one of those continued rants. Thank you for coming along -- Hope you're not disappointed when all is said and done.

Roberta S said...

hi susan. Good thing you weren't in my school. I probably would have told on you just to mask my own guilt. :D

Roberta S said...

Hi Pauline. As usual, you make me laugh. I have stacks of unwritten pristine paper. I have stacks of written on paper as well. But to me the blank stuff is really quite worthless until words flow onto it/them. Trade you paper for words.

Roberta S said...

hi nora, another one guilty of not doing a proper outline. That's two besides me unearthed in this one little rant.

A bit of a warning here about the invisible guest. They sometimes tell too much, they certainly tell far more than living, breathing, bodies would ever consider telling. I've had days when they have literally spilled their guts to the point where I'm left protesting "Too much information!"

Pauline said...

lobbing you a thesaurus - please post blank paper ;)

Dick said...

I'm with you on the frozen wastes of the blank page, Roberta. Although that one didn't stay blank for long did it?!

Roberta S said...

Dick, you make me laugh. Can't see the forest for the trees, and can't see a blank page flow with words even though there it was blank one minute and filled the next (all done by my own hand).

Glad you pointed that out. I more often than not miss the obvious.