Writing about writing

I sit down to write, and it seems completely impossible. I am good with words. In fact, I love them. They string together in remarkable and brilliant ways. There is no need to write a boring sentence as long as adjectives like explosive and presumptive exist. There are no shortage of verbs and nouns to combine to say interesting things in impressive ways. And then there is punctuation. Like all good improvisation, you learn the rules so that they can be broken, and you can push grammar to encompass new forms of expression. You can write in fragments and be liberal with commas and end sentences with prepositions and create massive run-ons. Because sometimes it fits the flow and communicates your ideas better than all the eighth grade rules.

And then there are synonyms. There is never a need to use the same word more than once to describe your point. Even the most mundane sentence about the boringness of a task is elevated by words. I vehemently dislike taking care of malodorous garbage, but it beats saying that I hate to take out the trash. The words exist to be molded into something new, to be pieced together to express those inner thoughts that I cannot reach when I am speaking out loud. Writing allows the nouns and verbs and modifiers to be crafted and punctuated. Edited and reworked. Passed on for consumption or consigned to the trash.

Then I sit down to write and all the stories I can imagine while going about my day disappear. All the lessons I’ve learned from reading great and terrible books dissipate, and I am left staring at a page, wondering how to have the discipline to think of something new and translate it into something readable. I know that writers create themselves, but I am constantly boggled by the how. I always have something to say. Except for when I try to write. Then I write about writing and hope that next time, something new will come out of the words.

Published by Caroline Mitchell Carrico

I am a writer, mom, and museum enthusiast in Memphis. Also a fan of reading all the words, cooking all the vegetables, and watching all my kids' soccer games.

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