Friday, May 22, 2015

A Writer Writes

Frequently, upon waking, my mind starts to run forward into the day before my head is even off the pillow. I have tried many times to reign it back in if it's too early and I want to sleep longer. But like a dog that is straining at the leash, it tugs and tugs at me until I just have to give up. Thoughts range everywhere from "what do I have to do today?" to "why did I drink so much wine last night?" and everything in between. Sometimes I actually wake thinking about writing, mostly chastising myself about not writing. On those days, I hear the voice of the character "Larry," played by Billy Crystal in "Throw Momma from the Train," admonishing his writing class students. "A writer writes!" he declares. And I get up determined to go downstairs to my computer and do just that.

But somewhere around the third or fourth step my mind has already wandered off in another direction and by the time I land on the first floor I've already forgotten the admonishment. Everything else gets in the way. A writer writes. Indeed. Perhaps, as I think I have tried to establish multiple times, this is exactly why I don't write. Perhaps it is because I am not one. Perhaps it is because, as evidenced by my moniker, I'm a thinker not a writer. And thinking is a much more dangerous thing.

One of my best friends brought back from a trip a little gift for me. It's a postcard which I use as a bookmark. It is a glossy pale gray with a black and white photo of an old typewriter. And in large print it reads: "I write because I don't know what to think until I read what I say." I'm sure she had good intentions; she thinks I am a writer so she probably thought I could relate. I don't know if it was so much a gift as it is a curse. I spend what some might consider an inordinate amount of time pondering that quote. I'm just not sure what I think of it. At the very least it annoys me because it reminds me almost daily that I mostly don't write. But it also challenges me mentally. Is that true for me, for one who is mostly not a writer? Or is it only true of those who physically write. I feel like I think a lot. And while I'm thinking I'm mentally typing words on imaginary paper. Is that the same thing? Does that count? I get so wrapped up in thinking that I don't actually write; I don't actually put thoughts down in actual words. Thinking might actually distract me from writing! See what I mean?

And so, once again, I am determined to set aside not only time but thinking, on a regular basis, so that I "just write." Just start putting something on paper so that when I do start thinking it might actually flow through my fingers and not out into the ethosphere. A writer writes. A thinker thinks. And maybe the two can co-exist.