Lately I’ve had the urge to write. But for me the baseline question when I write to publish always is—Do you have anything to say? It is easy enough to rehash an idea that has been expressed elsewhere in one of my scattered readings, but getting an original idea or a unique perspective or a new way of expressing an existing notion is a very difficult thing indeed. Quite often I think I have something to say and I feel strongly about it. I then proceed to try to express what I am thinking. And sure enough it reads like utter garbage. It is inauthentic, cosmetic, foogayzi and altogether embarrassing.
At other times, I simply do not have the words. This is an oddly familiar state of existence for people who write for a living. There is really nothing so annoying as having something to say and not knowing how to say it. It is rather like that mute state of idiocy many people enter into when they meet their crushes. This is where I am now and thankfully I do not write for a living.
That said, this process may serve a very important function. It may be a useful way of refining ideas, getting closer to the proverbial koko of the matter. Someone said somewhere that the essence of reading is rereading. Well, it seems to me that the essence of writing is quite possibly rewriting, and very often discarding completely.
So this is the screed I’ve managed to write today. I have twenty-two draft essays in different stages of construction but none of them feels right. Here I am trying too hard, there my thoughts are vague, confused and woolly. And yet, even though I know that none of this stuff can be published, I am too scared to delete them because, well, thinking up stuff is tough and usually a full thought is the filtration of several half-baked, wacky, confused ideas which have had time to age and mature in the casks of our brains. One minute you have absolutely nothing to say, the next it pours out in torrents.
Or not. Sometimes you just remain frustrated and incoherent. You cannot write. Here we are.