This blog started with looking at calling, mine, and calling in general. At that time I made a clear-cut decision about where I was putting my energy. I’ve started this year with my attention divided again, but I didn’t even realise I was doing it – going back to old habits.
This is the nature of me – my writing flows for a while, like a river, with sure direction, but then it wanders into an estuary. The flow slows down and gets caught up in all sorts of other consideration and details. It happens, at times where the course branches, and I, thinking the way looks appealing, dive over a cliff edge, only to find the lake below doesn’t have a destination in mind that is river-related.
It’s happened again. I could wail in despair at my vagaries, but that won’t get me anywhere. What matters more is taking that step back and recognising the pattern. I’m hardly alone. Writing is one of the most contrary endeavours out there. One can lose momentum and direction where every single idea and project is concerned, but one doesn’t stop writing – if not on laptop or paper, then in one’s head.
Yes, I have to admit I think as if I were writing everything down. I realised this just yesterday. It hadn’t occurred to me before that that this is what I do. I pick a topic that has grabbed my attention – something that someone has proposed via a discussion, some observation, and I proceed to write an essay in my head. I have never learnt to speed read because I’m a narrator. I read out loud to myself – silently. Yes, I know that sounds oxymoronic, but what I mean is that as I read I give inflection, expression and pace to what I’m reading mentally as I read it.
This is not something I can escape from. It’s innate. I’m a writer. I’m a river. Does a river cease to be a river when it reaches an estuary? Perhaps it does. But it doesn’t cease to flow entirely, but it could – it could stagnate. I need to adjust the picture then. Not – “I’m a river”, but “I’m water” and then I can ask what sort of water do I want to be? Do I want to be stagnant? Do I want to flow fast and sure of my direction like a stream from snow melt? Do I want a bit of both? If I am water, then when I find myself in the wrong place I can lift up into the air and fly as part of a cloud back to where I need to be and rain down back into the flow I originally intended.
I am a writer. What I write is a river of words that sometimes get side tracked or caught in eddies, muddied or wrapped up with the doings of fish and nymphs and water gods and goddesses. Nevertheless, I’m a writer.