Friday, March 30, 2012

I Hate Writing

Okay, perhaps that's an over statement. However, I really, really, really don't like it. My apologies to all the teachers and professors who did their best to foster a love of writing over the years. You gave me encouragement and scratch- and sniff stickers, that should be enough to strike up a small passion. However, the thought of ever writing a paper again leaves a chalky taste in my mouth and a deafening void in my ears which is reason enough never go to graduate school.

And then there's creative writing and journaling. I find it tedious and difficult to try and sort through my thoughts, which waver between tornado furies and waterfall tumults, to bring forth a cohesive and calm written passage. So, why do I do it? Well, quite frankly I don't do it so often- you see how few and far between my posts to this blog have become. But, the very reason I don't like to write, is why I write. Contradictory, yes, but true.

If I find that I haven't taken the time to write in my journal after a few weeks I start to feel locked inside. The tornadoes begin to wreak complete havoc leaving me completely disconnected with what I'm feeling and thinking. Somehow going through the (dreaded) process of putting pen to paper helps me to get my thoughts sorted out and to put all the disparate parts of me back together again. With all the hand cramps aside, it's still good for me.

I have a large collection of journals and sketchbooks around the apartment, most of them a quarter way filled. The ones that have all the pages used up are among my treasured possessions and are given a place of honor on the book shelves. I return to these frequently, perhaps as encouragement, perhaps just to prove to myself that it can be done.

This need for writing isn't so much of a new topic for me. I spent a good portion of my senior thesis, oh so long ago, wading around in this idea. And the fact that I'm now a book maker may have something to do with my individual struggle with writing but instinctual need for it. I have found that in my struggle to begin there are a few tricks that always seems to work:

1.Have some good paper to write on. I like either a silky smooth, vellum like surface, or a super toothy cotton rag with a cockle finish. I tend to make my journals with only these two types.

2. A good pen. It can't take too much pressure to produce a nice fluid line, otherwise hand cramps are sure to set in early and kill all good intentions. A fancy or expensive pen is not necessary. One of my favorites was a hotel freebie- an extra fine ball point pen in blue, that glided ever so nicely over the page. I was quite grieved when it went missing during a trip. These days I gravitate to Stabilo pens which almost feel like pencils. I saw my first one in a stationary shop in Budapest and was very happy to find them in US stores as well.

3. A place to sit where I won't be interrupted. I don't necessarily need quiet, and in fact if it's too quiet my mind doesn't always settle down. As long as no one needs my attention I'm happy to sit in a busy spot. My other go to is late at night. If my mind is racing when I'm trying to sleep, often getting up to write will put me back at ease.

4. It doesn't hurt if there's a strong aroma of leather, and a tactile journal cover to hang on to.

Well, that's my confession for this Friday. I hope the weekend treats you well- and that you take some time to write. Do it for me- or rather, instead of me!