The longer I sit at my “desk” (it’s a table, though: blond wood, stained with 50 years of breakfasts in my grandparent’s kitchen) the less interesting the inside of my head becomes. But I wouldn’t really know. I’m not letting myself in there. What am I hiding in that hard skull that I do not want myself to witness?
I move to the living room: a dining room table of brown Ikea wood is covered with junk mail and the indecipherable clutter of my partner. Clean it up? Not now, I want to write! Still my mind rebels. I’ve got nothing. I don’t know why I even try. Upstairs, the neighbor’s phone vibrates through the ceiling, and the distraction turns me again from my work. Emails fly cheerfully into the upper right corner of the computer screen, popping up like fans behind the free-throw hoop.
I have nothing but distraction. I have no tips for myself, no tips for the other writers who spend their days in a state of suspended concentration. My imagination, so active in my sleep, has shut down for now, and all I can comment on is what I am doing, right now, at this very moment: articulating the space around something I don’t want to think about.
The blush of the blog hasn’t crept up my cheeks in more than a month. What keeps me from here? My own ambivalence.
I want to write about my dreams.
As I fell asleep, I walked through a brightly lit passageway. A shaving of butter curled in on itself, huge. The light that filtered through was yellow and rich.
via Daily Prompt: Blush
I am trying to develop my voice.
As I read around, looking for inspiration, I’ve noticed a profusion of internet writing written in a particular style. These authors employ a technique of giving a majority of their sentences a line to themselves. Many of these lonely sentences are short.
Like, really short.
The voice is chummy, close. Sort of like your favorite aunt, Auntie Carol.
This one-sentence formatting commands the reader to obey a certain phrasing, the author’s phrasing. The outsized weight put on every sentence takes some of the thinking out of reading.
After all, who has the time or energy to think?
In the end, the effect is that of a self-help guru up on the podium, emphatically dropping inspirational one-liners onto an avid audience.
And you’re the audience.
That’s right, YOU.
Because this style of writing relies heavily on speaking directly to the reader, using the familiar “you.” (In English, we only have a familiar you, but that’s beside the point. This “you” feels very, uncomfortably, familiar!).
If I had something important to write, if there was a point to this post, I would put it here. But it doesn’t matter if I have something to say. The tension of my piece exists within the format, not the message.
Do you feel it?