… why writing, makes you a better writer
write. We get up at 4:00 am in the morning, and immerse our face in a basin of cold water. Plug in the coffee pot, put on some clothes and question the need for a toothbrush and the time it’ll take to use it. We pour the coffee in a mug we’ve used since college and drink it. We sit. We turn on our computer. We straighten our back, shift the pillow under out butt and begin.
Nothing happens. We stand up. Adjust the pillow. Pour more coffee into the mug. Check the time. Check the weather. Check if the neighbor’s dog has eaten through your fence. We return to our desk. We readjust the pillow under our butt and begin again.
There’s a spark. A word emerges. Poignant. We wait for another. Perpendicular. If there’s a connection we’re not seeing it.
We move the cursor down to a new line and position our fingers over the keyboard in anticipation of the Muse finally awakening through the advent of coffee and a cold-water bath. We’re hopeful. There’s another spark.
The words begin to flow. The fingers start to loosen and you’re off. We are writing.
But what is writing? Yes, I know it’s what I just did in the last sentence. Words placed in some order that makes sense and invites reading. But what is it? Where does it originate from?
Is it a process — a collection of individual actions and ideas collected together to produce a singular result? Is it spiritual? Does a Muse really exist and are we simply channeling their words, time and again?
Or is it us? Becoming so proficient in the understanding and use of words that they begin to do what we ask them to do, without having to worry some much about them?
We watch Fred & Ginger dancing; we don’t see the practice. We do see the missteps, the trips or Fred landing on Ginger in a pile of arms and legs. We simply see the result — a bit of magic and grace floating across the dance floor. We see what thousands of hours of practice does to the legs and feet and arms of humans when added to music and a desire to communicate something special to those watching.
When we write, we are calling in words from our past, our present and probably even from our future. Borrowing words and phrases we haven’t even…