Wednesday, January 24, 2007

On writing

Lest you think that I've fried what little blogging abilities I once had and have been reduced to posting nothing but You Tube clips for the foreseeable future, here's a tediously boring personal post.

It's January again, which, for me, seems to be the time when I decide to take night classes at my local community college. As I did last year, I've enrolled in an English composition class to fulfill yet another university prerequisite. Luckily, if the first class is any indicator, I expect it to be a pretty stimulating experience.

As I drove home last night after the class, I was began to ponder the appeal writing has for me (yes, contrary to popular opinion, I am prone to the occasional bout of introspective philosophising) and I hit upon what I believe to be the one of the main reasons I am drawn to it: writing is an act of pure creation. When I write, I start with nothing but a blank piece of paper or computer screen, and then minutes, hours, days, weeks later something has come into being that--in all the momentous history of the universe--has never before existed (unless, of course, there is an alien blogger somewhere else in the universe that thinks and writes just like me, I but I'd just as soon not go down that road). From my will, substance emerges! All look upon my greatness and despair!* Err. . .maybe not, but I hope you get my picture.

Beyond the intoxicating power of creativity, there's something positively electrifying and--to me, at least--terrifying in witnessing the intuitive logic of my thoughts begin to form a coherent structure in the words I write; and almost inevitably, I am surprised by the results of this process. Often, I find that the unpacking of my thoughts into words reveals to me what I had previously been thinking in far greater clarity and detail than my scattered brain is capable of producing on it's own. In that sense, I think writing can be likened to opening a Christmas present; I may have a general sense about what the present will be, but until it's unwrapped I can't really know what it is with any precision.

Of course, some presents really aren't very interesting at all, and some of them--as I'm sure I'd soon discover if I bothered to peruse my archives--really don't age very well. But hey--that's life!

*I more or less cribbed that line from Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings, so it doesn't count as part of the whole "never before seen in the universe" thing. Tolkien's estate can sue me.**

** Please don't sue me. I really can't afford it right now.

6 comments:

Catherine said...

I feel the same. And, its good to see a "personal" post.

But I just can't help myself from saying...if an unlimited number of monkeys typed away at unlimited numbers of typerwriters for an unlimited amount of time...one of the would eventually have written this post...

Dave said...

Hmmm. . .perhaps you're right. In that case, I guess it's a good thing all the little buggers are going extinct then, eh?

Catherine said...

Huh?

Dave said...

I was talking about the monkeys.

Catherine said...

I didn't know monkeys were going extinct...

Dave said...

Some of them are, yes.