Writing is refined thought. We turn our thoughts into speech when they are ready to take form, to be made flesh. When they are ready to be crafted and polished still further, we put them into written words. It is an evolution of thinking.
In writing, you lie your way to the truth – brilliant lies, and terrible truths. But more importantly, it is delicious, delightful fun. It is game playing, yarn spinning, raw delight. This are qualities that are in rare supply, at least in adult life.
There are other art forms to pursue, ones that, perhaps, have more of a future and a relevancy to them than writing, but none that I have any talent or desire for. And there are other much meaningful and valuable pursuits and vocations, things that have a real, direct effect on the way people live their lives. Perhaps writing is a selfish, egotistical pursuit – a desire to live in never never land, lost in stories, coddled in books, pampered by a self recruiting, self appointed literary elite.
But books matter. Writing matters. An individual book is nothing alone – vanity projects, light entertainment, idle experiments with language. But taken together into a whole, they become an assay into brilliance, the sketched notes and fragmentary plans for the perfection of the mind, or even the world. Each writer or painter or actor or whatever shapes and places a piece of something that may become one of humanity’s great monuments.
I’ve been in writing hibernation for a while. I haven’t written with serious intent in almost six months. But ideas have been simmering away quietly on some backburner of creativity. I’ll have the time and a place to write soon enough – let’s hope I do something with it.