Saturday, September 15, 2007

in the margin

i sort of stopped using capital letters in my posts, a fact which has not gone completely unnoticed ('it reminds me of my ex-boss's notes, and that's not a good thing' said Marc, 'total exhaustion? a renewed flirtation with e.e.cummings?' said Sam). and so i had to think of what had prompted me to abandon this particular form of punctuation, and the first answer that came to mind was: because it makes writing so much easier; but i wasn't sure what i meant by that until i noticed that i also started commenting on my own posts, or rather commenting on the comments to my own posts (and doing so in Dutch), and that i find that makes writing easier too, and then suddenly i knew.

i am hiding from the editor. for some reason, this blog is not 'internal-editor free' (actually i can think of a few reasons why it wouldn't be, such as the fact that there are actual people reading it, or the fact that one of them is the real editor... (hi there mum!)). in fact, come to think of it, i can never write a post without hearing that well-known whiney little voice: "this is so bad, why do you bother? who's going to read it anyway? your vocabulary is pathetic, you only know ten words, don't you? where did you learn to spell? why can't you write real stuff, like her, or her, or her? if you don't have anything interesting to say, just shut up, you are embarrasing! i can't believe you're putting this stuff out there". and more of the same. it's distracting. it doesn't help. it's what you might call an irritant.

but it turns out there are ways of dodging the voice. there are places the voice doesn't visit, such as the scribbling in the margins, the comments (and the comments on the comments). there are texts the voice doesn't recognize as texts (those with as little punctuation as possible). there are languages which i am supposed to speak so badly that anything i write in them is not worthy of even the most cursory critical glance (Dutch being notoriously one). and then there is speed. i have found out you can outrun (out-type to be more precise) the voice. and what better incentive for speed-typing than a baby who is slowly (but not so slowly) becoming aware of the fact that the pink has been removed from his mouth and the warm motherly arms have been replaced by a carpet, a computer threatening to crash any second now and the desperate need to pee.

Yep, I can see how children might enhance one's creative process.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

tres drole ...