If writing is writing, and thinking about writing is writing, then what is writing about writing to keep from writing? Writing?
That sentence started out to be less nonsensical but ended up like my favorite grammatically correct yet seemingly nonsensical sentence. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. But even that sentence reiterates the conundrum of the first paragraph.
Thanks to Norman R. Augstine we all know that "Simply stated it is sagacious to eschew obfuscation." But is the word buffalo repeated 8 times obfuscated or sagacious due to its economy of words and power of its precise terms? An American bison from the town in western New York that is intimidated by other American bison from the same town in western New York also tend to intimidate American Bison from western New York. Or is it puzzled instead of intimidated? Or is it upstate instead of Western? Or is it an just an oxlike mammal and not a bison? Or are there even bison in New York? Is it more succinct to use 8 words than to use 35 to describe the same thing, especially if all three of the words that are the same word have different definitions other than just the fact that they are 3 different words that are the same?
Powerfully succinct, vaguely precise, or generally specific the sentence and the question remains. Is writing about writing as a distraction to keep from writing, writing?
So what keeps me from writing? It isn't that I think my writing stinks. Parts of it do, but overall I think I'm the most humble person you'll ever meet. Not one of the most, the most period. As a result whatever drivel I spew must be high quality literature on a par with Hemmingway, Faulkner, and Borges.
My writing needs work. It needs an editor, it needs a content editor. I would even relish and appreciate an editing. It isn't perfect, far from it, but it isn't the rantings of a confirmed lunatic. There is purpose and meaning, and even subtle meanings deep in the story, plot, and characters. It is literary styled if not literature. And that in itself is a bit of a rub.
No one wants to read literature. No one. Everyone wants to have read literature. I had to re-read that the first time I saw it. But the third time I read it I got it. I wanted to have read before i read it, but having read it I got it. Which is the way literature works at times. Those not educated in the nuances of allusion, metaphor, similes and the like can easily dismiss the need for such an education. Once educated though, the importance, indeed the pleasure that can be derived from such a training is clearly evident. Even though the underlying desire to have done rather than to actually do may still remain.
So it isn't fear of perfection, my writing isn't. It isn't fear of rejection, even if it is. It's not a lack of ideas. So what is left?
I began his post last weekend, clearly as a distraction to keep from writing. But this morning it hit me, writing is like golf. By which I mean two distinctly different but very important things. My golf handicap is that I think I am a golfer. I spoiled a long walk (for Twain fans) in over a decade but when your score gets to be so high it is becomes a primer in math it becomes discouraging and makes you want to quit. And then it happens. You hit one shot so beautifully perfect it makes you say, "I'll be back."
The best thing about golf though is something I found and have stolen so long ago I cannot credit the person who said it. In the game of golf you find your self on some dewy morning or balmy afternoon standing in a manmade meadow and you realize: Any man can make a golf ball white, but only God can make the grass green.