Writing is incredibly difficult work. It’s not for lack of time or ideas, but for the lack of actual words that I can pour on to a page and still have them make sense once they’ve been neatly arranged to form a coherent sentence.
There are times throughout the day when I think, “I should make a note of that, so that I can write about it later.” Those thoughts usually come to mind when I’m driving and Siri is on her period. I repeat the idea to myself a few times, thinking I’ll be sure to remember, but then I’m cut off by someone backing out of their driveway while I’m going over a speed bump and the thought is gone. Other times, I’ll just forget to write it down.
On Friday nights, I like to sit down at my typewriter and work on a project that I’m calling, Collection of Recollections (CoR). It usually starts with me pouring myself a drink, lighting the candle that sits next to the typewriter, and then turning on a lamp because candles don’t provide enough light to read by and the keyboard on the typewriter isn’t backlit. Once I’ve gone through the motions – the ritual – of setting myself up, I pour myself another drink before pounding away on the keys.
I’ve got a list of topics that I want to cover. The list is fairly long and continues to grow. More often than not, however, I end up picking a topic that isn’t on the list. This topic is usually off topic.
A lot of what I’ve written so far is crap, and I know that. It’s not relevant to the plotline or purpose of my writing project. It’s the gristle on the steak that is my writing project: it’s necessary for flavour but it’s chewy and most people would rather just pile it neatly in a corner of the plate.
It’s all stream of consciousness stuff, things that I think in the moment about the things that I think about from my past. I just write what comes to mind – much like I do for this blog – and hope that when I, one day, sit down to review it, I’ll be able to parse together a cohesive story that people might want to read.
About a month ago, while chatting with a colleague, I let it slip that I’m working on this project. Her first response was to question whether interesting things have happened in my life. I told her that yes, interesting things have happened in my life. Later that night, I realised that I had lied.
Sure, things have happened in my life but they are no more or less interesting than anything that has happened in anybody else’s life. They are just things that I find interesting. I think what makes the things that I’m including in CoR interesting is not what they are but how I think about them. And, they’ll only be interesting to other people if they way I write about them is interesting, too.