For me, writing is a medicinal self-curative prescription, interchanging words, disassembling sentences, renovating message impact and trajectory, recrafting story-stepping-stones.
Re-writing to reader-worthy, a near-schizophrenic blood-letting, taking words out, adding words, moving story-parts around distillation, boiling-up, condensing-down sauce simmering reduction, repurposed and punctuated 26 characters into something deliciously digestible.
It’s mostly about feeling something, writing that feeling or viewpoint, my story to tell, one I simply need to care to tell.
Someone suggested in conversation recently that writing is about having talent or not; it’s something automatic that some people can do, while others cannot. I dismiss that as an ‘insufficiently informed notion.’
Most writers attest it is more craft than art, more practice and process than lighting striking, and their best writing is re-writing. Part ‘what’, part ‘who’, part ‘when’ – the magic combo which lifts someone as they read to learn the part ‘why.’
If I have one, my writing style is to write as I would talk – tip-toeing around something sensitive, or hitting bluntly, as abrupt as a club smashing ripened fruit …
There is no theme, in any formal or planned sense, for my columns – yet there is so often a specific triggering event, or person, that gives any piece its fuel. Often rooted in something from the day before, or inspired on my morning walk, or something I was brooding about. This has been my daily emotion-reset column for nearly 18 years, 6,417 consecutive days, because I choose to.
I’ve given up trying to impress anyone, given up trying to win approval or praise I most wanted from anyone – it has never come no matter how much or how well I write. Sobering, but what validates me most is when someone I wasn’t writing to or for is touched, or moved, or compelled to act on a feeling because I struck the right chord for one person that day, makes it all worthwhile.
If just one person finds value, it is worth pushing out into the world. When I least expect, something I would least suspect to be inspiring or heart touching, I find out that something I wrote was inspiring to someone or came at a critical juncture in their life, or it was heart touching for someone on a day their heart ached to be touched.
Words spilling over lips, as melting ice-cream would, deliciously satisfying some reader’s appetite, as the best form for conveying my passion or point – because I chose to.
P.S.: there is a tacit agreement, is there not, a connection between writer and reader – an expectation that every morning there will be something written, something to read. So if I was to miss a day, that trust would be broken, and I cannot bring myself to do that. It matters to me.