50. randall as writer…

I’ve been writing a lot more lately because…well, frankly because I’ve just had a lot more to write about. What I mean is, this whole new attitude, new outlook thing that’s emerging in my life – one of the benefits is just this newfound wealth of ideas. It’s like there was no sun on the soil of my subconscious so nothing grew but now that the sky is clearing, molecules of carbon dioxide are combining with water and forming sugars and oxygen – energy and life.

Anyway, I wanted to take a moment and talk about myself as a writer. I am the writer who wishes he was writing songs instead of short stories because when’s the last time you heard a short story blazing it’s way up the Billboard Top 40? Or when’s the last time you heard someone humming the words to a short story while walking down the street? And compared to a singer/songwriter on a stage (no matter how big or small), a short story reading just isn’t as sexy or cool.

But I just play the dice that God rolls for me. I wanna sing but I sit and type instead. I want screaming fans but I get silent, anonymous readers instead. But that’s okay, I suppose. I love what I do when I write (even when I know it’s crap) and as any artist will tell you, that can be enough.

See, the part of me that writes is separate somehow from the rest of me. That’s how it feels sometimes (especially when the juices are really flowing and words are falling from the sky). Sentences form themselves, and the thing I’m writing is just willing itself into existence through my fingertips. It’s a real fucking rush.

And that’s another thing – the language I use. I feel completely free when I write. The English language is my playground and words are my playthings – and they’re fun to play with. I love how you can grab two words, put them together in a way that no one has ever thought of before, all in the effort to communicate what doesn’t want to be put down on paper. And I imagine that’s what it’s like with any kind of art. Artists are just trying to squeeze their world through whatever medium they work with. And some parts don’t want to fit, and some parts want to lie and appear as something else, and it’s always so tempting to do the easy thing and resort to the trite, the cliche, the obvious.

I like the voice that emerges when I write. It’s eloquent and sturdy in a way that my speech never is. When I’m writing, I feel ten feet tall and tan and handsome and able to woo women with a wink and a nod. No one tells me how to write. I bend the rules of grammar as I want and I follow them when I choose (which is actually most of the time because the rules are there for a reason). I exercise blatant disregard for spelling (though I try to clean up the typos afterwards because spelling errors are just embarrassing). In short, when I’m writing I just don’t give a shit. I run through the world with my balls flapping in the wind for all to see (in real life, this is NOT a pretty picture but when I’m writing, it’s Playgirl centerfold material).

All that to say, it’s a rush…at least when things are flowing and the words are falling from the sky. When the words don’t come? I read. And in case you’re wondering (and still reading), here are a couple of my favorite (fiction) writers:

Raymond Carver
Douglas Coupland
Barry Yourgrau
and Michael Chrichton (no, really)

Well, I have to run now. This was entirely indulgent of me but, that’s my write (yuk, yuk, yuk).

See you again soon.

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