“Looking back, I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was, too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything than nothing at all.” Katherine Mansfield.
Fresh off that miserable excuse for a blog post yesterday, I give you this instead. Seriously, some days I should just forget I have a blog.
The quote I started with seems to be the story of my writing life; and I’m sure I’m not alone. I started writing at an early age, mostly for school, and I don’t have a single thing written before I became a legal adult. The jury is still out on whether or not I am an actual adult now… but I think I am and that’s all that matters. I do have one story and a couple of poems I had to write when I was in my final year of high school (or at least I did before I moved here – not sure where they are anymore) but those don’t count either.
If I only concentrate on the time I started to believe that I wanted to be a writer, that I thought I might have an idea or two that could turn into a book, I have written 2% mediocre and 98% twaddle. I’m probably being generous as well. And as much as I think that I can write (believe me when I tell you that I think it is the one and only thing I do well), I think I am writing what amounts to lining for the bottom of a birdcage. And you know what? I’m okay with that.
For every thousand words I might spew on these or any other pages, maybe a sentence or two can deemed good, and perhaps used again or remembered elsewhere. And is that so bad? Sure, it might take a while to weed through the twaddle, to don the hip waders and gas mask and fight off the urge to vomit as the incredible stench roils up from the septic pages of the literary un-masterpieces I am producing, but if there is anything that can be used, that can be turned into something altogether different and better, then I have succeeded.
You can’t get to the good stuff, the words worth carving and molding, without writing down every word you think of. Okay, I can’t get to the good stuff without writing 90-odd percent crap.
My blog is different though. I don’t edit my blog. My blog is uncensored and raw. I post it exactly the way I type it. This is just me allowing my brain cells to splatter against the soft underside of my cranium. I then hope my fingers can keep up with what my splatter patterns are saying. If I was vocalizing this, out loud for you all, this is where my stutter would take control and make me feel like a fool. My brain works very quickly, sometimes too quickly for me to realize that what my brain is saying will get me in trouble or is utter and useless bullshit. Such is the life for someone who is “always switched on” as one of my friends here puts it. I don’t turn my mind off. The hamster is always running on that rickety old wheel inside my head.
Some of the stuff that has graced the pages of all of my blogs has made me very proud. Naturally, some of the stuff is here because I feel the need to write every day (and I’m trying to adhere to that). At times I’m very afraid to go back and look at what I have written because I know that some of it will give me nightmares. Would a proud man delete the twaddle? Or would the deleting of such work be the act of someone who doesn’t want the rest of his writing world to know that he is still just an infant when it comes to this whole process?
I’ll continue to write twaddle. I’ll probably continue to let you see the twaddle I write as well. Most of the stories (the odd works of fiction I’ve posted here) in my port are incomplete, not quite ready for primetime. I have a knack of writing a first draft very quickly, and most of those first drafts are pretty readable. And then I leave them alone to gather dust. I’d rather, in my own little world, let something done get dusty, and write more so my fingers don’t get rusty. And yes, that last sentence was absolute twaddle. But that is the gist of it I’m afraid. Once I’m done something, I lose interest in it, and feel I have to move on. And in my haste, I write literary crap.
But I’m writing, so that should be celebrated. And maybe it will be just the blog, the random twaddle that has made me quasi-famous on this site and in my own mind. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll work on that short story I have started, or finally think I might be good enough to finish the next novel on my agenda.
Yes, I am proud to write twaddle. That twaddle will lead me somewhere special. And that twaddle is better than writing nothing at all.