I think one of the fundamental features of the human spirit is the need to build, to create things. For many this need is satisfied by the day to day struggle to make a happy home; raise a family, buy a house, pursue a career, build a business. For others, this drive finds fulfillment in more conceptual works of the mind and hand. Such people become musicians, painters, hand-craftsmen, designers. I find my satisfaction in writing.
I think sometimes writing is an exercise in megalomania. I get to create entire worlds, build up and tear down glorious civilizations, bring into existence brave people and all sorts of strange creatures. I can invent wonderful contraptions of both high and low technology and dictate the courses of countless lives. All this by pecking at a keyboard for only three or four hours a night over several months time. Writing can be thought of as the low cost economy way of being God.
Another thing that compels me to write is a great need I have to be understood. Poetry gives me an avenue to express my feelings about myself, my views of other people, and my outlook on life in general. The particulars of my stories reflect my opinions on what the world should or should not be like. This is contrasted by an equally insistent compulsion I have to be mysterious. I can pepper my stories with bits of myself scattered among the strangest universes and most oblique characters my creativity can conjure up. I really don’t know if my writing is very good at being an interesting study in psychology but the heights to which I aspire are the sheer weirdness of Douglas Adams and the mangled sensibilities of Edgar Allen Poe. Imagine the deep, dark, unfathomable abyss the stories of these two present to any attempt at analysis.
I believe the things I write need to be read by someone else before they are complete. It’s this wonderful, intimate exchange of intellect and emotion between the writer and the reader that completes the circle of creativity. The world around me inspires me to conceive new ideas. I forge my ideas into a stories and poems and release them back into the world that engendered them. The reader absorbs pictures from my imagination. In turn, his reaction to my writing contributes to the pool of thought from which we all gather raw material. Essential to this process of recursion is that I express myself well. This can be rather frightening. I have to set my innermost feelings and the farthest reaches of my imagination to paper and then share them freely with someone else. A friend of mine who is an exotic dancer once told me that it is far easier for her to showcase her body on a dance stage than it is to let someone read her poetry. Writing is self exposure. Good writing is stripped-to-your-bare-skin-look-at-THIS self exposure. Perhaps if I’m persistent at my work, one day I’ll flash you provocatively enough for you to invite me to stay awhile.
See you left of center,