Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I write in my head

I write in my head. In fact, I wrote that sentence in my head about an hour ago. And that one. And that one. But not that one or this one. Now I'm writing with my fingers. Well, my brain is in there somewhere, too. But it isn't alone in the deed.

Still, I spend a fair portion of my day writing in my head, narrating my life. For a long time, I told myself that was good enough, that as long as I was writing in my head, I was a writer. But I'm starting to wonder. Because writing is work. Not just the physical labor of pressing the keys (phew, someone come mop my brow and fetch me some lemonade), but of editing, of molding structure, of making sense.

So I guess all this time, I've just been a thinker and a dreamer. It's not a bad start for writing, but it's pretty easy and lazy. Not to mention that pretty inherent in being a writer is having a reader. Or readers. Otherwise, even if I were writing down my thoughts, I'd just be thinking with letters.

I've written many things in my head. Not whole plays or poems or novels, mind you. But essays. Well, thoughts. Structured thoughts. Turns of phrases. Things that I've thought would look and sound good all written down like.

As with so much with me, I'm looking for a reason why, though. Why to write. Why to have someone read what I've written. I always thought it was a little egotistical to think someone would want to hear/read what I have to say/write. But now I'm beginning to question that line. I'm beginning to think that I can write just to speak my peace, maybe even to make money at it. And that maybe what I write will touch someone. Not necessarily in a deep, life-affirming way necessarily. But in a, "Yeah, man, I feel the same way," sort of way. Or in a, "I never thought of it that way," sort of way. Or a, "I feel the same way but I didn't even know it until now," sort of way. Or a, "You're off your nut, dude," sort of way.

Part of my struggle, I think, has been that I don't like writing enough to write just anything. Like I thought about journalism. And I realized I would not enjoy covering high school soccer, just as a for instance. I wouldn't want to write to make money if I couldn't put something of myself into it. And journalism doesn't really allow for that.

Anyway, that's my thought for today. Well, one of them. There will be others, I'm sure. It's just a matter of getting my fingers to pitch in and pluck them out of my head.