I would like to find a point and get to it.
“There’s the trouble,” says my muse and friend. “You always think you can find the point before you write it. You’ve just got to write yourself to the point and then cut away everything that doesn’t lead there. You’re like Flannery O Conner sometimes, eh? ‘I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.'”
But it’s not that I can’t find a point. It’s that I find too many. Should I review a book? Should I talk about writing? Should I talk about life? Or games, or art, or work, or–anything! Anything is so much, so big. I can’t pick just one.
“And when your mind lands on anything–including a prompt given you by someone else–it is immediately dismissed as not good enough.” He rolls his eyes. “Come, girl. Better a shoddy something than a perfect nothing.”
My heart disagrees, and he knows it.
“An unwritten blog post can be perfect, can’t it?” he says sympathetically. “It’s witty, it’s relevant, it’s from the heart, it’s helpful. It’s got the perfect words and the perfect format. It’s insightful, and it makes people think. Like. Comment their thoughts. Share it with their friends, and provoke ripples of thought and attention that spread out from there. It’s edgy, perhaps, as is everything that invites thought. The unwritten blog post, the unwritten story, the uncreated creation–it’s always so fresh and original, yet resonates secret strings in every human heart. So perfect. But you know what’s wrong with it?”
I can’t post it?
“That,” he agrees. “And worse than that. You can’t create it.” He puts an imagined hand atop my head. “Creation is an incredible act, whether or not the results are ever shown to another–even if they’re never fit to be shown to another, they are so much more magnificent than unwritten perfection.”
My heart still disagrees. I’ve seen so much posted and published that should not be. My standards are high. He knows, and presses on.
“Hear me. Not only does unwritten perfection have no chance to touch another–it has no chance even to touch you.”
My heart wavers at that, and he presses the advantage.
“Creator, you must create. Writer, you must write. Even if it’s unworthy, unwitty, irrelevant, and unhelpful, even if it’s so far from perfect it makes you cringe, you must make it–if only to change yourself.”
My heart concedes. My muse always wins, in the end.
“Now. Your blog piece. Will you post this, or will you write another?”
I consider, reading back through my silent debate. I’m not sure if it’s witty. I’m rarely sure, right after I’ve written a thing. I don’t know if these are the best words or format. That’s just what happened. Worthy? I don’t know. It’s certainly not perfect. But it’s from the heart. And unlike my dream-post, it’s here, in black and white, unfolding before my eyes.
I read it over again. At least now I know what I think. I think it might even be relevant, and helpful. But it would be safer, wouldn’t it, to post something in keeping with one of my usual formats? What if someone finds this pretentious? Or insincere? Gimmicky? Maybe I should write something else. I’m sure I can, now.
“No one can criticize an un-posted post,” my muse says languidly, pretending not to look at me. “It’s public reception is, theoretically, perfect.”
I grimace. Fine. I’ll post it.