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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Like Learning To Swim

I often felt like I was drowning in a sea of my own words. No sense of rhyme or reason to them at all. I certainly can't connect the word dots, as it were like certain Autistic Savants can with words/numbers. No it just becomes "Word Salad" to me, a jumble of them tossed together without giving me a clue as to how I should put them together.

I have had posts that came together without as much effort as some but nothing extraordinary, no real string of conscienceness until I had a post called Darkest Before The Dawn which recalled the night I tried to kill myself. I sat down that day to write a post about some days being better then others...certainly I had no intention or even a notion about writing of THAT day. It just flowed out in a big, long rush of words and it really did not occur to me exactly what I had written until I went back and proofed it.

I was flabbergasted, it left me shaking in my chair, literally. The only thing I did to it was add a warning before the paragraph that described what I did to myself in the attempt, it was somewhat graphic and the subject matter was grim. I knew my daughter and my son often read the blog as well as others who might not want to read so much specific detail.I didn't want to Blind-Side anyone with such details...

Otherwise I left it as I originally wrote it. I will say after re-reading it countless times that if I was to publish that account or use it in a memoir (I am considering doing that very thing right now) I would re-write it. There is some awkwardness in how it begins and ends plus the narrative is choppy...Yet I didn't want to detract from what those lost memories actually were: A photographic memory stream straight from my sub-conscience of that incredibly horrifying event. It is the only witness of that event....

More than likely in a book form I would use the original stream in addition to hashing out a smoother, more refined and more cohesive account that fits in to the storyline more naturally. I believe that would allow IT (the memory itself) to tell its story in addition to me telling mine. Yeeow, that probably doesn't make a lot of sense to some folks but I think that is the most promising way to approach it.

As far as other examples of a situation where the tangled web of words in my head simply sorted themselves out by themselves, I can't really think of anything exceptional. Just little snippets here or there but nothing like the previous example.

What I do notice though is I often sit down to write without a pre-chosen subject. Yep, you can probably tell, huh?! But I may have a set if words or something and boom, stuff will come together fairly well but I will be thinking at that point what is best to use or not use. So the natural flow isn't there. I think this is mostly a result of me writing a lot and often. In other words: Practice

Even when I have to "think' through what I'm writing I've noticed that I must have developed a routine where I process the thoughts on the fly so I don't have to stop while writing like I used to and play with the words...I have learned so much about crafting a series of words together. Frankly writing used to be a chore...not any more.

In a way writing and learning to write better has been similar to learning how to swim. To a certain extent you can't be tentative. You can't afford to be reckless or careless either but in a way you have to just jump in and do it. Writing has been like that for me as well. But once I started to get the hang of it, practicing those things I'd learned and it really honed the edge of my skill to it's sharpest edge. Don't get me wrong, I can ALWAYS improve...yet the fun is now in the doing or improving.

I cannot imagine my life today with out writing. It has given me confidence, some constructive work to do when I have time and a tool that has been incredibly helpful in my recovery. The ability to write has also given me this wonderful opportunity to reach out to others with this blog. I just really enjoy doing this and feel privileged that anyone at all would read it. It is an incredible feeling and I feel quite humbled by it.

So rest assured that I'll keep writing and posting here on Shell Shock Serenade....

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