This Is My Brain on Paper

I remember the first time I read of someone forcing words onto the page. The phrasing expressed the push-pull of the writing experience, as though the paper and writer were in a tug of war. In a knot writers believe they invented, the opponents are parts of the same person.

Is the writer persona the one who wants the heart laid bare and the writer protector the vigilante scaring the ink back up into the pen? Or is it the other way around? Does the human desire to pour out his or her soul and the public persona demand reconsideration?

Another line that caught my attention was bleeding onto the page. Ah the anguish! The reader expects desperate spurts and persistent oozing of the deepest veins of humanness.  Insights bouncing out of epiphanies have been heralded. Or at the very least a surprising confession. What causes one to bleed? Surely something painful. What will stanch the flow–the paper? (Of course, this is disappointing if the author was melodramatizing writer’s block!)

Should the writer then pour out lifeblood until there is none left? Or as with a physical wound, does the rivulet soon dry up and begin to heal over? If a writer persists in bleeding onto the paper, surely nothing less than exorcism is the goal.

Most of my writing is putting my brain on paper. I have ideas. I want to express them in more or less coherent syntax for the benefit of readers. Though I disburse information, I don’t do so without feeling. My biases are clear in my writing.

Though I enjoy public speaking, one reason I prefer writing is I can edit, often more than once. There’s no Delete key on the podium! Writing is more orderly for me. I can move similar sections together, and cut impertinences. Crush melodrama. I should never speak on an issue about which I’m passionate – at least not to any I perceive as opposition – for I will surely stuff my delivery with more emotion than is required or even desirable. My pitch’s progression may not be logical. (Where’s Delete?)

I am far better off, as are you, if I keep my brain on paper.

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