Carriers of thought and feeling that neither begin nor end with the offering of idea or sentiment. Creativity unfettered by discipline is chaos. Unsatisfying work is the hallmark of talent and potential unchecked by controls.
I don’t want to read such words today. Tomorrow could be a different story. Tomorrow could beg for a dose of frustration as my eyes stutter over badly scarred pages…
Emotions and ideas in written form must be counterbalanced by accessible constructs of communication.
Writing has a complicated relationship with itself, and therefore with its humans. If it were an animal it would be a cat, a beautiful, elusive cat that sometimes kisses and sometimes bites but never, ever dabbles in the obvious.
Striving for perfections is real. There is the relentless pursuit for flawless grammar, affecting expressions, beautiful turns of phrase; honesty, being raw, being real, being truthful, cutting to the quick in the quickest, most powerful way possible.
Writing raw is at the top of many a writer’s list. I have asked why of myself and others only to surface empty-handed.
This rawness is an amalgamation of ideals I suppose: honesty, lack of pretension, clarity, emotional impact, and perfect control over words that read as though they are under no control at all, that they are too rough and wild to be brought to heel.
It is exhilarating to write raw; it is exhilarating to read the rawness of others, to brush that stinging wetness against one’s lips.
Some writers strive to accomplish this seated at a desk while others reach for this denouement as an unmoored mess of alcohol, snot, and tears. Others still have conveyed ideal situations for just such a thing that are beyond my immediate grasp.
To each his own.
But to bleed succinctly, movingly, effectively, and controledly from a pen or word processor rather than a vein is reliant on more than emotional hemorrhaging.
Committing words to paper is more akin to archaeology than orgies. Hedonism rules in the heat of the moment but writing demands a washing up afterward. If a first draft is the libertine thrill of a drunken night of debauchery then editing is part of the obligatory hangover.
All hail the intoxicating euphoria that occurs when thoughts and feelings are freed from the restraints of our logical, day-to-day minds. The morning-after requires pulling oneself together to blush furiously over thoughts recorded whilst fully loaded and loosed upon the night.
Then you see it…a line over there and an idea, a thought, a feeling that sticks out over here and here and here. And it is salvageable. Not all of it, but enough to matter, enough to justify screaming into the darkness instead of whispering into the light of yesterday’s noon-day sun.
There is a thread to pull here, and here, and right over there. You are a genius, are all heart; you are perception personified.
And you still need a good and thorough edit because raw vomiting across that page would be awkward if anyone knew how often spell-check and sentence structure gets ignored in moments of unadulterated passion.
You also might sound like a whiny bitch dramatizing the pedestrian. But that’s all right—no one need know. Provided you edit your work, of course.
Words are made palatable by a clear vision and the ability to harness the current without damming it altogether. Part of a writer’s job is vetting what to show you from what can be safely ignored. And what to let readers extrapolate on their own.
Writing raw is the beginning, not the end.
Editing is the application of mechanics to poetry. It is the art of inserting breath, rhythm, timing, and balance into that which runs wild.
It is the head making sense of what the heart has discovered.