They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step; I would contend that it needs to be a step in the right direction. If you took a step in the opposite direction, it would make the journey a thousand miles plus a step. In fact plus two steps because you would need to go back on that step you made before you even begin to embark upon the original thousand miles.
That paragraph was of course a neat little intro leading into me giving excuses as to why nothing has appeared on this blog for some time. Side note- haha my browser is telling me the word 'blog' is a spelling error. Let me teach it a thing or two... Ok now it has learnt it. But what now? 'Ok' apparently is not a word. No computer, I'm not going to write OK all the time, that looks terrible. Right, another word learnt by the computer! It's going well today- but don't get me started on words and language, I will talk far more about that another time. I digress...
I have been writing this post for some time. I don't mean as in I'm typing a word a minute; I don't mean I started ages ago and came back to it; I mean the very content of this post has been bouncing around in my head since the last one. Actually most what I've written so far is new, but what I'm about to discuss has been on the brain, so to speak, for weeks. And that is the whole issue- why do thoughts sound so clear in your head, but when you come to put them into print it becomes so difficult to articulate your ideas?
When I'm alone and thinking to myself I often formulate phrases and sentences for imaginary pieces of writing or discussions with people not there. These all go so swimmingly, yet come the real situation and it's just not the same. I guess it's a good thing conversation is not predictable, that would be boring. And most of the ones I think of are arguments where I always convincingly defeat someone else- again, highly unlikely. Anyway, the minute you start out writing something out of your thoughts, you immediately veer off as I have just done.
Back to my point. Whilst writing this I have been impressed that much of what I have written has come up very clearly and succinctly from my train of thought; perhaps my subconscious is trying to make me look stupid by making me disprove my own point. Much can be said for 'stream of consciousness' approach to writing. I recently found online a video of Endgame, the play by Samuel Beckett, which I studied at school. The striking thing about this, and his other works such as Waiting For Godot, is the way in which the seemingly disjointed dialogue actually flows in a thought-like progression which is arguably natural. The structure is not logical, yet for that very reason it reflects the mysterious and complex flow of a mind at thought. In Endgame, it's like the mind is stuck in a loop and is struggling to break out of it without really knowing how. This reminded me very much of the opening of Douglas Adams' Mostly Harmless, the 5th Hitchiker's book, where a ship is trying to work out what is wrong with it, but cannot because the parts of the computer needed to realise it was hit by an asteroid were destroyed by the same asteroid. The rest of the computer mindlessly chugs along in what capacities it can, but cannot actually get anywhere. An interesting idea! Anyway I have a strange fascination for Beckett's style. What's more, he wrote it in French! Not bad for an Irishman.
So there is some merit to be had for that approach. However on second thoughts, if my posts were like Beckett's plays, there would be an even lesser chance (if possible) that anyone would want to read them! So now I think I will stop thinking about what I want to write too much, but I won't let it completely run wild. It's interesting how people can enjoy just writing about themselves, and others can enjoy reading it because, though they recognise common characteristics, they enjoy experiencing a different perspective of life, no matter how mundane the subject matter may actually be.
I have recently happened upon quite a good blog, Hyperbole and a Half; the combination of interesting and funny subject matter, and the crude yet fitting drawings really appeals to me. While reading about it, I was struck by the fact that I was reading a lot of descriptions of daily activities etc; though I enjoyed reading it, I couldn't help but think that if it were someone's diary, they would keep it closely guarded. Yet here we have the opposite, the same content but courting public consumption. What an age we live in. There is a certain thrill to the idea that other people will take an interest in what you say and do with your life- everyone wants to be a star. Of course we all know that is limited by the celebrity factor- walking proof of the terrible effects of public attention. But that is for another day.
In the end, in writing this I have allayed some of my fears about my inability to write what I think and what I want to write. The strange realisation has also dawned on me that probably the best environment for me to write quickly, accurately, logically and convincingly is in an exam room, a situation which strikes dread in the hearts of most. I'm not so bad, but I'd take this any day.