Writing to me is often an exercise in bravery. It allows others into your psyche. This crevice inside one’s head is viewed in privacy. This is one of the benefits of writing: the writer is not necessarily present when another reads their work. This gives the writer, in this case me, time to hide before words get eaten up. Some readers undoubtedly may not like the meal. Personally when I finish a work, I feel a natural guilt. Should I continue? Did I sum this up too quickly? Too neatly? One the faults I have is stepping away and seeing my work from a different perspective. I’m working on that (or at least I tell myself I am).
I enjoy the therapeutic aspects of writing, the mental exercise it requires and produces, and the notion of creating something out of nothing. That empty piece of paper next to your desk can make someone fall in love with you; it could end up being a means of communicating at a later date; it could take someone away from all their troubles; or it could fly with the birds out of someone’s bedroom window.
I’m one of those people who can’t just throw a piece of paper away. When I move or clean, it takes me a little bit longer than necessary. Each single strip of paper is potentially a trip to the clouds just south and on the border of Heaven. I still have a majority of the writing I wrote around age 12, as well as subsequent work.
Usually, if I wrote it, I remember the state of mind I was in at the time of creation. I almost always write the date, but previously excluded the years. I’m sure this helps a bit as I can reverse the calendar and remember where I was and what my life was like then. But when I don’t remember… if I’m really impressed by something, it’s like a friendly slap of fresh water to my face. It’s a shame how much joy that gives me.
Hearing the journey one takes to complete a work is often more interesting to me than the final product. The final product is like watching a still photo gradually become three dimensional. The journey is like hearing a play-by-play of my favorite sports team on the radio: I wish I were there to see it all happen.
P.S. I need to learn to edit my work quicker. I’m training myself to just write and not over-analyze everything before doing so. I want to see if the magic can happen without me waiting for an idea garden to blossom. This requires me to go back and adjust and delete, but the thoughts are on paper instead of stuck in the cobwebs in my head. Sometimes I don’t even know they’re there, and when they’re gone they no longer exist. Tragic.
– Eric McCarty (2/13/2012)