Thursday, June 07, 2018

Towards a Writing Practice

The impulse to write is camouflaged as a choking sensation that I recognize much too late for what it is. So I turn in circles. I go for walks and I chant. I scribble. I practise asemic writing, convinced that I am making headway into new lands. I collect series upon series of art projects, potential books languishing in my drawers, projects neatly organized waiting for an editor to knock on my door wearing nothing but devotion, patience and a huge cash advance.

A couple of years ago I participated in fun-a-day, a community action inviting peeps to choose a project and work on it, for fun, a bit every day for a month. I chose writing text. No concrete, no alien tongues, just word after word in English. I posted each offering online elsewhere. I went for 2 months plus. it was much needed. I got a lot off my chest. I felt a release. Some days were a tough slog other days a whiz of excitement, thinking faster than my two chicken pecking fingers could deal with.

Today the writing I do is on this blog and is centred around the creative process. I upload an image of some visual art of mine and start riffing. The image below is of some hand lettering on found blue canvas. I like the idea of such simple poem signs, an I very much enjoy making text-based visual art. It's simply that I think I wasn't to write write. And do it much more consistently and much more often. 

I want to write and let myself be taken by it. What a romance! I want the practice to steer me and not the other way around and I'll tell you why. I make excuses for not just starting something. I collect fragments that are never revisited. I have no aim, no plan, no plot, no characters, no setting. I have a choking sensation telling me that I'm not expressing myself. Chanting helps, it's immediate and lovely and I'm improving my singing voice. Asemic is radiant in that it stretches my imagination in unforeseen ways but I still fear writing straight and long form.

Here are some I use the computer or longhand? Should I get a dedicated notebook? Should I force myself to create a list of characters and a setting and start plotting? Should I trash all fragments to clean house and just choose one project and go with it? When should I write? Family life is demanding. Should I wake up earlier than everyone else and sit at a desk for 20 minutes? Should I remind myself that in other aspects of my life I've near successfully jettisoned the word should?

To date, I've told myself to at least hit this blog more often, maybe once a week, on Thursdays. Maybe the regularity will breed discipline.

I've been told that discipline is the name of the game. Showing up at the office, every day, for a 500-word jaunt or something.

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