“I write to discover what I know.” -Flannery O’Connor
The road from my brain to paper doesn’t encounter nearly the static that litters the one from my brain to mouth. Thus, at times, I prefer to write myself down, to experience the complexities of myself on paper, through prose, rather than through interactions or words.
And though I can talk your ear off with random, sometimes incoherent bursts of thought, when I write, I not only make more sense, but I also discover even more intellect, wisdom, and clarity than I had before. It’s like a spontaneous combustion of ideas and concepts. Little fires spark with matches I didn’t even know I had.
And then there is discovery and enlightenment and, wow, here I have physical evidence of the depth of my own mind, of corners I have never experienced before and paths I’ve never walked down.
These places that are inaccessible solely by fleeting thought and spoken word. I only find these hidden paths by traversing meandering clauses, navigating overgrown stanzas, and floating along winding streams of consciousness. And I’ve found that some of my life’s greatest adventures were the ones that led to self discovery.
I know myself better on paper. Paper is forgiving. I don’t stutter or trip over my words. They just sort of happen, and then I look back and I meet a new aspect of me for the first time. And I like that new version of me. She has it together. All those jagged fragments of myself just fit. Funny, pensive, sensitive, strong, beautiful and chaotic; the disagreeing opposites of me seamlessly harmonize when expressed on paper.
Writing is my best friend and confidant. It offers unbiased advice and profound insight, on a plethoric range of topics I may or may not have known I was even thinking about. It constructs words from the abstract, mixing intuition and experience with magic.
Do I sound like I have a multiple personalities or does anyone else have this out-of-body writing experience? Like “who’s she, she’s cool, I want to be her friend.”
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” – E.L. Doctorow
(He gets it.)
She knows what to say and when to say it. Her rough draft is an elegant chaos, while the final draft evokes a refined poise. They are both beautiful, one with scribbles and erasures and strike-throughs and random jots of notes that have no respect for ruled paper. The other, with a thoughtful handwriting, walks carefully along the lines, steadfast and determined, only pausing to take a breath.