Sunday, October 21, 2007

Writing

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." Sylvia Plath

Does anyone but me remember the Hanna Barbera cartoon character Quick Draw McGraw and his alter ego, El Kabong? Dressed in Zorro-esque fashion, the masked McGraw would foil his foes with a surprise attack of his trusted acoustic guitar, aka a "kabonger." Althought Kabong often destroyed his guitar in the process, he usually got his man.

Lately I've felt like I've been "kabonged." Not by a guitar weilding cartoon horse/man. I haven't seen any of those, which I think is probably a pretty good thing. No, I think my kabonger is more the kind of message that keeps coming from places you don't expect - the universe? God? a magic 8 ball?

Everywhere I turn, a mysterious yet compelling messenger tells me "Write."
"Write what?" I ask.
"Anything, just write," comes the reply.
Is it just me or is the way other writers got started?

In an article I copied from somewhere (The Oprah magaizne I think, but couldn't swear to), Walter Mosely writes, "the first thing you have to know about writing is that it is something you must do every day."* One of his reasons for this exercise is "connection with your unconscious mind."

Mosely also says that he thinks "writing is primarily an unconscious activity." Hmmm, how can I be sitting here thinking of words to write if, in fact ,what I want to write is buried somewhere in my uncounscious mind. That in itself is kind of scary.

I suspect my unconscious mind looks a lot like the junk closet where one puts the things one doesn't want to lose. You know those items that they'll most likely never use again, but might someday. I stored a bowling ball long after my bowling days were over, and 8-track tapes right up until the day I got my first CD player. Show me a mother's catch-all closet and I'll show you the potty chair she can't bear to get rid of even though her children's children have long since given up cotton training pants and reading Once Upon a Potty.

See how my mind works, I want to write about writing and I end up lost in memories. I'm not sure my unconscious mind should be my writing muse.

After reading an essay and writing an email to the author about wanting to be a writer, I got this response: "Write every day, no matter what." No matter what? What about the laundry?

And then to top it all off, my blog mentor, antijen, commented on one of my posts,"If you're really feeling guilty about your inconsistent entries, which you shouldn't, you could consider challenging yourself this November to National Blog Posting Month."

All good advice. I'm not denying it. But I have to say, I'm thinking what I really do not need in my life is another challenge, or another reason to spend time in front of my computer. As I sit here, I think I feel little ivy-like tendrils growing from my bottom to the couch. There is an argument for exercise of the mind as well as the body, but I haven't yet learned how to do both at the same time.

I've checked out the National Blog Posting thing. Here's what the website said: "You get yourself a blog, if you don't have one already -- and don't mind me if I'm stupefied at the idea that there's someone left in the English speaking world without their own blog. Then you look at the calendar, and when the whole world goes, "Oh, I can't believe they're already playing Christmas music in the warden's office!" you'll know it's November and that is the month in which you post something to your blog every day, in accordance with the National Blog Posting Month challenge!"

Apparently the enticement to do all this posting is the possibility of winning random prize drawings. I thought about it, and yeh, prizes sound good. I've got to be honest, though. I'm wondering if I belong to some huge blog writer's club, will some un-biased (as in other than my daughter, sister, or sweetie) reader acknowledge that there is a certain something in the way that I put words together that makes them smile?

Is writing all about my ego? I think it might be. But I haven't yet figured out what the point of writing is if the writer doesn't have someone read his words and say something along the lines of, "Damn, that was good!" I might be a bit narcissitic to think that anyone would want to read what I have to say, but that is the nature of the beast, isn't it? Talk/listen, write/read. One's not much fun without the other.

I don't know if I have anything good to say. But I do know that I have an bunch of words in me that want to come out. Blogging is as good an avenue as any to clear my mind of the clutter.
So, I'm going to do it. I'm going to put Random Thoughts by Merry Me on NaBloMo.ning.com.
Just so you know, I've also bought some yarn, a crochet how-to book, and material for a quilt. With 24 hours in each day, if I don't sleep or eat, I may get all my projects done by next year.

Wish me luck,
Merry ME

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Roger Ebert says that "the muse visits during composition."

And as an avid blog reader, I have to say that November is one of my favorite times of the year -- love me some NaBlPoMo!! I'm tickled that you and AntiJen will be participating this year. I'm going to be spoiled rotten!

Mrs. G. said...

Good luck! If you haven't read Anne Lamott's book on writing called Bird By Bird, please do! She makes the case that more than half the battle of being a writer is just showing up...every day. I look forward to reading your posts.