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Sunday, January 29, 2006

What Should I Write About?

The page is blank. The screen is blank. And as each moment passes by, the vice in your head turns one more crank. Ten more minutes and the vice will have squished any remnants of brains that could possibly have produced a word or two. No sense bearing witness to this sordid outcome so you get up and walk away. Then, you're not sure whether a couple of words penned out might not have been better than pancacked brains and this beast gnawing and clawing from inside your chest trying to get out.

Why do I have this sense that I should be writing in the first place? I haven't written a book. I haven't been published in a magazine or newspaper. I might blog a little bit, but Boing Boing doesn't know who I am. Actually, I don't know who Boing Boing is either, nor do I care to. Maybe I'm not a writer afterall?

Did you ever stare at a blank screen? Do you question your involvement in the writing process? Do you question what you should be writing about?

To begin with, don't worry about whether others classify you as a writer or not. If you pen one sentence in a journal every five years, you are a writer. I write because there is something inside my head that must get out. It's not comfortable enough for me to hold a discussion with myself. It must get out and get in print. I am much more at ease and able to function on a daily basis when I am able to do so.

Writing is purified water. The mountain sheds its coat of ice; rain fills the rivers and lakes; the rivers pour into the lakes. Water bombards our senses, filling our world. We purify it, make sense of it, and unleash it back upon the world.

You could no longer more eliminate water from your world than you could daily experiences. Think of daily experiences as the water that fills your reservoir. It's up to you to pay attention to the world unfolding around you everyday. Take it in, run it through your purifier and open the flood gates.

The voice inside my head told me to write this today. His reservoir has run low. He reminds me that I am not like Emily Dickinson, who withdrew from societal contact and proceeded to crank out pristine literature. He tells me to get out of the basement, get out into the world and get him some water. That's what I should be writing about.

Thank you for your post. It gave me the courage to start writing. I consider myself a "closet writer" and I thought the blog would be the place to start coming out.
Very good for both of you. Writing opens the mind. I am in no way a writer, but, I like it. It cleanses my mind. It helps me connect with other people. It does not matter to me if it is gramatically correct. It only matters that it conveys thoughts and feelings. It helps me connect with others. Writing is cool. I really like the water analogy.
Man Mitra! You made my day, my week! You blog whatever you feel like blogging. And don't worry if there aren't as many comments as you'd hoped for in your posts. Just write baby!

I agree Rocky, conveying thoughts and feelings is what it's all about. And we most certainly shouldn't let visions of Sister Mary Alberta's four foot steel rule cracking down on our knuckles from getting out what we want to say :-)
Nice piece of writing, I enjoyed the pacing and style, the personalness. Thank you!
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