Some could say what I do on this website is a loose interpretation of "writing." What is "writing," though? Is it a bunch of words one after another to make a coherent thought? That's pretty close, unless you are James Joyce but I am betting pretty good money that you are not. So, let's go over what I think my writing is in a small essay where I am honestly pulling stuff out of my ass because I did not have time to check the news this morning.
Stream of Consciousness
This is my main form of writing if I have to be honest. Whether I am telling a story, writing an essay (wink), or ranting and raving about some goofy library issue that I am feeling strong about that moment, I am letting one word go to the other. Sure, I go back and do a little touching up, but most of what you see on this website is the first draft, posted within minutes of the last period. Hell, at least when I hand wrote things out I had to recopy and understand why Bill didn't make sense to be in the library scene because Bill died in the garden scene five chapters ago. What I am saying is, well, there is very little planning in anything I write. Hell, the first long form thing that I tried to write, the "crime thriller" Hurricane aka Yeah, not that good, started out as a love story. I do not know what the end product of anything I write will be. Hell, this essay, what you are reading right now, started out as just an update and an explanation as to why I am reading ttyl by Lauren Myracle. Figure that one out.
Sometimes I pick a subject and do stay on topic with it. Or try to. Or in the case of the podcast, start one place and end up completely another. Let's take the "librarian stress" article I wrote. Most of that is pretty on topic. It goes on a little tangent at the end that I had to struggle not to hit the caps lock and go a little nuts with, but there you go. The fever was up and I had something to say and went after it not really knowing what would come out, but by gum, I had something to SAY... And it's not bad, not great, if I had a couple days to rewrite and polish it might be different. Who knows? An editor would probably break that shit over his knee and send me packing. Whatever. I'm happy with this just being a blog of my immediate thoughts, a place to exorcise demons and let the voices talk.
That leads to the other side of topical. My personal life. The Dear Past Love letter is one example of that, but you could also say the entire Fiction portion of this website is as well. I want to say right now the Dear Past Love letter is... there's three people in this world that would look at that and might say "hey, that's about me." In truth, there are about half a dozen women in that letter and yet it really is to none of them. That letter is to me, if I am being honest. After writing it and reading it back aloud... There are a lot of things I need to let go of in my life, to say goodbye to, and that letter let out a lot of them. That happens a lot to me, like I said with the fiction section being topical. I do write what I know, my friends and what I have seen. Sure, I extrapolate and give different motivations behind what happened, but all of my fiction has a bit of truth in it. Yes, some of that stuff really happened and is still happening. My favorite part is going back after about six months or so and re-reading this "fiction." I get a lot of perspective that way, and believe writing has kept me sane as a result.
Why do it?
And that leads to why I write. I will admit, it gives me a kick when views go up, when there's comments that say they liked it (or disliked it, I can be perverse about such things). To know that people have the ability, if not the inclination, to read what I am posting out on the notice board of the abyss makes me smile, but I do not write for the reader. Not all of you. There is one of you out there for whom I have written every word I have ever written. I am not getting romantic about this; there's not some beautiful person with a perfect soul out there that "gets me" through my writing. I have no mental image of this person. But I know you are smiling right now. I know you are calling me an idiot, but wondering what else I have to say. I know you will keep reading because that is what you do, you put up with me. I want to go ahead and thank you right now for sticking around and also say I am sorry for all the times I let you down. I am trying to do better.
So, to sum up: What is "writing?" It is putting words together in an order that makes another person feel or think. There are no rules. No right way to do it. Just make it up as you go. It's fun.
Oh, yeah, I'm reading that book because I said one time I'd read all 100 of the books on ALA's 100 banned books 2000-2009. I'm working on it. That's a lot of books and like the one above, not written for me. Just look out for the tag 100 Books in the review section or check out my 100 Books list on Goodreads. If you can. I do not know how that website works all the time.