I need to add a new blog to my life like I need a new pigeon tapdancing on my roof.
But I have become so enamored with the Red Room, and the idea of all these wordpeople in one place, that I figure I should at least open my mouth and spew forth a few random words every now and then.
So I'm going to do just that. Every once in a while I will randomly select a word, spew it forth, write about it, and invite you to join me.
Here is the word that I have randomly generated today:
Aha. A very good word for a writer. A word that keeps us short, simple and to the point.
A word that invites space and calm, lifts the film of confusion from our eyes and brain, and pulls a great sigh of 'ahhh' from our belly.
I have recently taken a vacation from a first person memoir I was writing to start a new piece of fiction, and found it interesting that I sometimes have more clarity as a writer when I can divide myself up into little bits and pieces, when I can create characters and have them each speak for a different part of me, than when I speak from my own 'voice.'
Perhaps because when I get going I can really ramble on, but I usually shut my characters up before they become too tiresome.
Seems to me that clarity comes when you are truly being yourself and doing what you are meant to do.
When you start chipping off bits of yourself, handing pieces of yourself to others in some expectation of what you think they might like, that to me is the slow creeping death of your own clarity, and the dimming of your own light.
You begin lying to yourself, and before you know it you are mired in confusion.
There are also those times when everything seems 'confused' because you are simply transitioning from one state of clarity to another. Like water being poured from one glass to another, you have given up one container and you haven't yet arrived at the next one, so you feel like you are in freefall.
Those are times when the best thing to do is often to realize that something is emptying out and something is filling and you are, for the moment, flowing somewhere in between.
Eventually it will all become perfectly clear.
I spoze I could talk a bit about the writerly part of clarity. Like: Use vivid wake-up words that ring bells in people's heads instead of filling their brains with mold. Or: Organize your story or poem or article in a way that provokes clarity. Unless for some reason your intention is to obfuscate. In which case, obfuscate away, see if I care.
By 'provoking' clarity I don't mean your story or poem or article needs to be entirely obvious, everything neatly hung out in the sun like a row of tighty whities. No. Perhaps you want a few dark tunnels there, a whisp of smoke, a seductive touch of mystery--something,even that causes your reader to slip a bit in his or her certainty that he or she REALLY knows what you are talking about. This would be especially true in fiction or poetry, though (clearly) not recommended in journalism.
We writers are supposed to bring clarity to those dark places that human beings spend much of our time stumbling around in. That's our job. How we do it--as a kindly ray of sunlight, a furious flash of lighting, a brilliant firecracker--I guess it depends on what kind of writer we want to be.
Okay, that's enough clarity for now. I'm ready to go back to stumbling around in the dark.
If you care to contribute your own thoughts, story, poem, riff or rant on today's word, fire away.
I will write about another random word soon as I can see my way clear to do so.