The Fun of Writing

by Justin Curry, http://neovox.cortland.edu, December 2, 2010

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To begin, is to say 'Fuck, where do I begin?' Try to be concise and don't fall apart. If I am going to lead to something, stick to it. Follow the idea closely and never let it out of your reach before other words fall into place that don't belong. Words need to be said or read, which can be intimidating for the young writer fighting for the right arrangement and tone. The whole idea is not to succumb to the fear of mistake, the intimidation it can bring. You need to enjoy, have fun with a piece, in order for it to reach its maximum potential.

Does this paper have potential? Maybe. The first paragraph seems like an average dilemma most writers have. Starting is difficult when pressured. This paper is pressure, for we are fighting for a grade. I am not afraid to speak my mind or write what could be and I have yet to figure out. This is not planned, so let it flow. Forget about the pressure of the class and remind yourself of what reason brought us to this class in the first place.

I am not sure who I am speaking to. Learning rhetoric, it is hard to say where my auditors' are. I guess my primary audience is David, but what if you/he makes us read out loud to the class. My audience has suddenly become them. Or what if he makes us form small groups, same thing. I don't know where my audience is yet, but what good is the written text without an audience of some sort? Every good and established writer does not pen all of their work just for their own entertainment. The pleasure comes from the market, or in our situation, from each other.

That being said, writing is a challenge. To step up by sitting down and facing a blank page and being able to draw from personal experience. To be able to speak with clarity is a must, along with structuring and development are the keys that unlock success within the written word. The only problem is words don't write themselves, although at times many of us probably wish they could. My greatest obstacle is finding the right word. Like Mark Twain said, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." He also said, "Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream."

He makes a good point. What fun is reading "the old lady screamed?" Something has to happen to her. Maybe a spider crawls up her leg and she jumps up smacking where she thinks the spider is, but it is too fast and keeps crawling up her body. The screaming could go on for quite a while then. Although my example is vague, description and elaboration are two of the essentials in bringing the potential audience to climax.

This is where the fear resurfaces in me. Over-indulge and I could be on to a complex puzzle, like a giant Rubix cube where every side contains a balanced mix of colors. If I write this straight forward, it could be like a one-way maze with no surprises. Now I am afraid. Will I balance this paper out? Will it be too simplistic or too complicated? Just remember, take a deep breath and exhale. Do I dare to continue? Of course I do! Fuck the fear!

I feel like doing something with this paragraph that is different.

That was fast. I think I was too excited and came early, to this new paragraph, I mean. Where do I get off doing such a thing? I was brought up to believe there are five to seven sentences in a body paragraph. My twelfth-grade English teacher Mr. Gaglia would kick my ass if he saw this. Maybe my professor will be pissed off about it. Whatever. Freedom of expression is limitless and while I have it I will remain soaring above the boundaries of writing "expectations." Is it beyond me to believe that writing is bringing forth the unexpected?

Two writers and a bum walk into a bar. They all sit together and order drinks. The first writer complains of being uninspired. The second writer complains to the other about how difficult the writing business is. The bum sits and drinks and observes them until they leave. He later finds a piece of paper and pen and writes an award-winning essay about how blind the writer can be. Is this meant to be a joke, or is it serious? I didn't laugh so I don't think it's a joke. I did mess up though. I meant to say, three writers walk into a bar.

Writing is inspired, but beware because it can be forced. This is forced. The only question is where are you standing? Are you pushed to a corner, unable to find a way out, or forced to an open field with broad horizons that stretch beyond world and universal means, into an infinite dreamland where what happens can and is able to, but is not limited to the happening. It can change. Mark Twain's quote of the old lady inspired me to add the spider, but I am flexible. It was not a spider that made the old lady scream, but a well-planned surprise party for her birthday that made her scream. I feel a scream should end in a pleasant setting, with a smile.

Just as it is inspired, writing is refreshing. For one, I rarely read, not because I don't want to, I just never have the time. It is hard to commit to something like a novel when working or in school, unless it is required text. But whenever I finish a book (and don't start sentences with 'But,' high school kids), it is like bringing water to a dry mouth after an excessive workout. It is like having a deep longing for a loved one and reuniting with them after a prolonged period of time. Don't be fooled by my metaphorical punch lines. Writing can also be a jumbled progressing mind fuck that leads the reader to Advil.

I fear I am doing this.

Stop. The fear is non existent, unless I think it is there. I have not re-read any of this and I have no idea how this piece is developing, although I admit I have a general idea of where it is headed, but I'm not going to tell you. So there. Take that! With that, I have forgotten about the fear of my development, but am reminded by the writing process of this sentence. The sole question I have for myself is am I having any fun?

I have been writing this for an hour now, occasionally glancing up at New Orleans and San Francisco battling it out in "Monday Night Football." The best thing about football is the battle. It is a war, where the outcome can be guessed, but the game is not over until the sixty-minutes is over. It is almost halfway through. New Orleans has been hammering San Francisco nine to zero, but now San Francisco scores a touchdown to make it nine-seven. There is still over a half-hour of unwritten play left. The present story is clear now, when tomorrow the full story will be written several times. The best part is the football players care about what they do and how they do it, just as I care about how and why I love to write. There are many reasons why.

Writing could be a series of questions or a series of answers. You can begin with a
solution and end with a problem. Writing can be similar, so the audience can relate, or
completely foreign, so the audience can learn. Of course, there almost always is conflict.

Let's say an elderly couple sits in their living room and watches television. Nobody wants to read about them watching T.V. and breathing. There needs to be a situation. The cable could go out. The husband asks, "Do you wanna make dinner?"

The wife says, "I don't wanna cook. You make it."

The husband is looking her in the eyes and comes up with an idea. He says,
"Whoever breaks eye contact first has to make dinner."

The wife says, "You're on." Then they go into this epic staring contest, and after a
half hour someone knocks on the door. "I'm not getting it," the husband says.

"Let them knock," she says.

The phone could ring, the roof could collapse, the cable could come back on, none
would break them. So it goes on and on until eventually someone breaks, let's say the
husband. But he says fuck it and orders a pizza, which pisses the wife off because they
spent all that time staring at each other. This creates a snowball effect, but the snowball
can vary in size based on how much snow is on the ground. That is what we determine.

For me, writing has to be fun, which this essay has proved to be. If you are
serious about writing, you do it because you love to, not because you have to. Just
because I have to do this, doesn't mean I hate it. I am not afraid of the possible criticism,
where this piece works and doesn't work. That can all be changed at a later time. The
important thing is what got me here, and what got me here was the freedom to be able to
sit at my laptop and let the ideas come to me. It is easier than forcing your thoughts into a
corner. They don't want to be condensed either. They want to expand.

If a thought could want, then maybe the above statement is true. There is always
room for philosophy in writing, as there is room for play, persistence, criticism, surprise,
hope, reality, fantasy, hate, love, all of the above, and plenty more. If a thought could
want, it would want to be written down. In our case, it doesn't have a choice.

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