Monday, February 27, 2012
That Which Makes You Feel
I find the most interesting cases to be when something makes you feel, but you're not sure exactly what it makes you feel. These, I feel (no pun intended), are the fertile soil in which living writing is sown. Living, breathing writing. The kind that sometimes isn't even meant for other people at all, but just for yourself. When we feel something we can't explain, these are crucial moments to write. Your very writerly soul might depend upon it.
When someone tells a joke that makes me laugh, I feel happy. And I'll write that feeling when my characters hear jokes, and it's fine. But laughter is static on the page--we know it, we understand it, and it is a flicker in our minds that is registered and then escapes like vapor through the white spaces in the next sentence.
When I walk onto a stone deck at three in the morning in bare feet to study a sleeping city, I don't know what I feel. Cold, naturally, but that's a shallow diagnosis for the complex symptoms. There is a magic in the soft yellow glow of streetlights on deserted sidewalks, and there is a chill in the surrounding shadows. The stars hold a whispered promise and the frosted ground echoes back silence. Nothing stirs and yet everything seems to simmer above an unseen energy. A stone deck at three AM is no fading vapor--it hovers as a constant fog for the mind to sift through again and again. That is where the best inspiration is drawn. Written words are the fingers that allow poking and prodding and a search for truth that sometimes insubstantial thoughts cannot accomplish alone.
What makes you write? What makes you feel?
Current word count today: 1,355
Current song: Broken by Robert Downey Jr.
Current quote: "I don't reckon I know why [I write.] I just know I have to." ~ John-boy Walton [Richard Thomas, The Waltons]