Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Writing Bare

**Disclaimer** Just because some of you sometimes ask me about the "process" of my writing, as if it is somehow something magical, I thought today, for a little change of pace, I'd give you something virtually untouched and straight up first draft.

So it's one of those weeks again.  The words are slow to come.  Sometimes it's just like that.  But as I told another, press on and write through it; and then taking the good advice of yet another, the obvious, writers write.  And so it is.  You keep on going until you get to the kernal of the begining of the thought or the story because that's all we're really doing here is telling stories.

See.  That's how it works.  That's the kernal.  Blogging is modern story telling.

I hope you can "see" how my writing process comes along.  Don't misunderstand, it's not always that easy or quick and there were some paragraphs that I deleted, but those were taken out just because they were much of a personal rambling and not a writer ramble.  Hope that makes sense to you all, but that's how it is here, it's my blog and so in the end, I simply have license to do what I like.  So there.
So back to the thought at hand.

Blogging is the modern day equivilant of story telling. 

We don't have time and patience for real live story telling any more.  It's not a thing that is filled with special effects and glitz.  In a lot of ways story telling is pretty plain potatoes kind of stuff.  It's not completely dead, but it's definately a dying art, if you will.  We still get some story telling in sermons, sometimes, but in my own jaded way, I'd say it's just not anything near what it could be.  There are still stories told around campfires and such, but it's a thing of novelity, reserved for the special occasion of a camp out vacation or summer bonfire party.  It just is.

But blogs affort us a new version of story telling.  Every blogger, regardless of topic or format is telling a story of sorts.  And we as the readers choose who we listen to.  There is a unique disconnect tied to this form of story telling though.  You may or may not know personally and/or intimately the actual story teller.  In times past, a person, a listener would have known their story teller most likely quite well.  They would have been tied to each other through living and surviving and experiencing.  Now, not so much.

The story will most likely not become a part of the fabric of your life, which is exactly what would be happening if it was indeed someone intimately tied to your life telling you the stories of your life, your past, your history.  You know, who you are and where you came from, way back when.  You wouldn't be learning the funny bits of your parents as kids or why you always eat black olives from a green glass dish shaped like a log at your grandma's on Christmas.  They might be the stories you skim through with your cup of coffee and toast before heading out to do the day, but because they don't have the ties, the bindings to your heart, they are simply good stories tossed into the winds like dust blowing down the road in late summer. 

If they're outstanding stories, real grippers, they might just stay with you until lunch where you could maybe recount parts of it to a coworker over a limp bagel sandwich.  If it was a truly amazing story you might even be able to recall parts of it at dinner with your partner and be able to recommend "a good blog" like a mediocre bottle of wine in an average restaurant.

But story tellers, story telling is pretty much lost and gone like the dinosaur.  It's been replace by the blog, the drive through of our modern technology culture.  We pull up to window after window and look for some quick hot salty satisfaction and we're ultimately left with a greasy paper bag on the bottom of car floor.

Don't get me wrong, blogs serve their purpose and I for one am guilty of reading (and writing) many.  As a reader, they're a lot of fun for me.  They fill some gaps where I used to read beach novels and big glorious newspapers, in my life before kids.  As for the writing, some of it is the sheer discipline of being forced to write something "worthy" of a public reading.  Some of it is simply the electronic version of all the spiral notebooks I have filling up all the odd spaces in my home.  Yes, true confession time, I do have spirals of my scribbled notes and horrible stories all over my home.  Don't go snooping.

Some how it all makes me a little sad, a little nostalgic maybe, to be noticing that I am watching the death of the story right before my eyes.  But that's how it is.  I can hope that the novel will not be obliterated.  I can hope that blogs will evolve into something better ( including my own). 

I can tell stories into the ears of my own kids and friends and hope that it will bud a little secret sect of story tellers.  I can hope it binds us to the mesages, the rhythms of the dances that are our lives.  I can hope that on another day the words will come better and come more clearly.

But as for today, you get this.  A simple, almost entirely unedited look at my writing process.  It's circular-ness, it's made up words, it's winding of thoughts that go in one direction and then back again in another.  The never ending wordy-ness that is the very heart of me.  At my core, I am a broken mess of words spilling out over everything, never running fast enough or making enough sense.  My sanity comes together as the letters come together as words, my sanity becomes solid as words fall into sentences, paragraphs and sometimes full on story thoughts.  And so now you see, or perhaps you don't, but this is what it's like inside my mind.