I just finished writing about 500 words. I should have written more, but I’m writing longhand, and you can only go so long before you have to take a break. Besides, I’m up to the point where I have to make a point, and I’m not sure how I’m going to do it. But I will.
When you’re really going, writing seems almost automatic. You don’t really have to pay attention to what you’re doing. It’s like driving, where you can watch the road and listen to the radio and think about what you’re going to do when you get to work, all at the same time. (And like driving, you can’t write while you’re on the phone.)
I don’t think I had noticed that before tonight. At the same time the words were unspooling, I was able to look at them almost objectively (never totally objectively). As I watched myself scribble them (and scribble is the right word, believe me), I marveled at (a) how they arranged themselves so neatly, and (b) how good they looked. Not that I claim to be Shakespeare by any means; it’s just that I can still recall how I used to write years ago, and the difference is profound. But I wonder if the real miracle isn’t either of those things, but rather how I was able to separate my brain into two parts, one writing and one watching. Usually when you write, your brain is separated into “writer” and “editor,” and the toughest part is stuffing a sock into the editor’s mouth so the writer can work. This wasn’t that. The observer did make a few cogent suggestions, which were followed, but mostly he let the writer work. It was he who found the whole process amazing. (The writer was too busy to care.)
Oddly enough, now that I’m blogging, the two halves seem more in partnership. I stop and edit more, and the writer doesn’t mind having the editor peer over his shoulder. It’s a funny thing.
It’s a funny way to live, if you think about it. Writer vs. Editor. And then there’s Marketing Manager… Thank goodness they’ve got him locked in the closet for the duration.