This blog is pretty much brain droppings, as George Carlin called them. It’s whatever happens to be in the mental hopper when I decide it’s time to sit down and blog. It is not a verb that I’m fond of–too harsh, sort of bangs on the ear–blog, blog, BLOG. Sounds like a child in a snit stomping through ever bigger puddles.
However, there’s precedent. Someone who keeps a journal is journaling. Not a journalist–that’s a whole different critter. Someone who keeps a diary is a diarist, which is the same as someone who is journaling. It’s all such a mess. But at any rate, I’m stuck with blogging.
When writing, as in writing fiction, it’s a whole different story (pun intended). When I’m typing what you’re reading now, my thoughts are kind of formless, just letting my fingers do the talking, watching the words form on the screen. I bounce around the Internet finding the image that illustrates or adds to what I’m saying, the quote that I think is funny, it’s a little manic, honestly.
But when I’m writing fiction, my eyes don’t even see the laptop screen. They’re watching the characters play out their scene. As my main character drives, I can see the sunshine dappling the seat beside her, the scenery rushing past… and my fingers are flying, simply trying to keep up with her thoughts, to define what’s driving her as she’s driving the car.
It’s an amazing feeling–one I forget when I’m not writing regularly. It’s definitely one of the places in my life where I reach that state called “flow.” Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has written on it, spoken about it, made it his life’s work.
He says, “Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments of our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times … The best moments of our lives usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to the limits in a voluntary moment to achieve something difficult and worthwhile.” I think the key may be the word “voluntary.” I choose to write fiction, no one makes me write it.
But right this minute, I’m making the choice now to go run–or possibly to go back to bed. Haven’t decided yet. Love Saturdays.