When I wrote my blog two days ago and re-read the whole thing, I was stunned how deliberately I have been choosing my words. Every single sentence was calculated. Every single sentence could have been elaborated in more depth. But how far could that go?
I would loose myself in a maze, if I would follow through to the end with every thought that I begin. Every sentence can turn into a paragraph and then into a 1000 words, in which I get lost in too much detail. No one wants to read that.
I try not to be too erratic in jumping from thought to thought. I do hope that the connection becomes clear soon enough. It’s one of the reasons I read through everything again before posting. Otherwise I would loose you along the way, because I stumbled and you were unable to keep following.
I suppose it comes down to my motivation of writing certain things. Do I write for myself or for others? Mostly for myself. Writing is thinking, I said it before, but I don’t own these words.
Well, I do, because I know them to be true, for myself anyway. But I’ve read them elsewhere before. I claim them, perhaps that is a better way of putting it.
But I do think of others as well when I am writing. And sometimes thinking of someone in particular, I find myself addressing them in my writing. Every time I speak to you, I mean you, not a general you. I want you to consider what I am saying, not just anyone.
And “you” is everybody, who feels that the shoe fits (as we say in German) or the hat (as I’ve heard the same idiom elsewhere).
Depending on how much I hit the nail on the head with you specifically, you’ll feel as if I am talking to you, or you won’t, if you’ve never shared a particular experience.
If my words even prompt you to consider, my work is done. It’s all I wanted to achieve and there is my motivation. Not always, but sometimes. Often it’s just self-reflection and sharing what I’m sure others would’ve felt before as well.
But that blog I found to be particularly deliberate. Even when being completely honest, I suppose I still want to be perceived a certain way and manipulate my choice of words accordingly. This means that I do care what people think. But then again, the people I don’t care about are not likely to read any of this anyway.
It’s more likely that you know me and that I care about your opinion.
I’m not out to deceive you. But should I try and deceive myself, on whatever subconscious level there may be, I wouldn’t necessarily notice right away. By extension I would accidentally try and deceive everybody. That doesn’t make me a liar, though. I didn’t mean to do it, after all.
This is another reason I read through everything before posting.
Then I also wonder if this is what writers do. I’m not just talking away, rambling as I may sometimes appear (to myself at least), I tend to compose my sentences. I mean, I write in my head. I narrate the outside world inside of my head. Of course I compose sentences. Of course every word is deliberate.
Every word that isn’t, comes out wrong. I tend to think first, then speak, vice versa doesn’t work for me, which took me long enough to figure out. It has ended in some unpleasant situations when having arguments.
I’m very conscious of myself, which doesn’t mean I’m self-conscious. There’s a very distinct difference here. That includes my writing, of which I can be self-conscious, but more in a nervous kind of way rather than anything with a more negative connotation.
I suppose every writer is deliberate in their choice of words. One wants to create a certain effect, illicit a certain response, ensure emphasis on one part of a sentence rather than another.
I can be plain as day, if I wanted to, without the need for metaphor, word play or the reconstruction of sentences to suit a certain purposes. I can be straight forward and often I am, but in all that I choose to be very deliberate.
And here I wonder why?
I write for myself. I write what I want to write, what I might want to read or at least in a style I would want to read, never mind the subject. Every writer has their own voice and every writer uses it deliberately, measured. I find so am I.
Even a comma can be an act of deliberation, even if it may not be grammatically correct. I omit a word here, add one there. I sound it out in my head, read it aloud before I post.
Obviously I can never be certain how something will be received and if I will manage to get my meaning across. The reader cannot know where the writer puts the emphasis. But I suppose I don’t write for just anyone, or say, certainly not for everyone.
I’d be boring as hell, if I were plain as day. I’d rather be clear as mud.
I admit I surprised myself when it occurred to me, how deliberately I choose not all, but most words and certainly every sentence, sometimes with more care than other times.
Add to that that I continue to read widely but more and more critically. If I don’t like the author’s style, I am unlikely to continue reading. That doesn’t happen often, in fact, it only happened once recently when I attempted A Clockwork Orange.
Widely regarded as a classic and made into a movie. I could not get past the first chapter. I read through Children of Men, because the story was intriguing. But the style in which it was written was not to my liking.
I re-read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy recently. I’ve loved the books since I first read them, but I’ve never read it as critically as I have this time around. Consequently I found more flaws than I have before and I may not read it again. I will always love the story, though.
My current reading list is longer than my arm and I can’t wait to start most of the books on it. Each in its turn, of course. But now, that I find myself actually turning into a writer, I read differently. I always read for enjoyment, but it is now also a learning experience and research.
I’m fascinated by this whole experience. Is it a natural progression or just my personal development? I wouldn’t know and I’m not likely to get a satisfactory or conclusive answer from anyone else, because I am quite certain that this becoming is different for everyone, no matter what their art form.
I do believe, though, that I’m doing something right, mainly because it doesn’t feel wrong. I’ve read plenty of writing advice and more and more things are starting to make sense.
I will keep you posted, as always.