I woke up this morning thinking about Sean's issue of Jim Goar not sounding like Jim Goar on his blog. Then I thought, "Well, what about premeditation? Does thinking about what you are going to write change what is being written? What if there was no filter?"
There may be something to this.
In a recent conversation with my brother, Paiman, he was describing to me his experience of "speaking truth." He believed that if he thought about what he was going to say before - let's say he was talking to a beautiful woman or his employer - it would not carry the same emotional integrity. He would be too busy judging himself or the other person to truly be present, and give a genuine response.
I have tried to stop my mind in certain situations, or watched when it ran off during conversations. I noticed that I was quick to create something to say, when I may not have any response whatsoever. Is this an uncomfortability with silence? My own incapability to be a good listener? Or is this simply a matter of approval?
In Byron Katie's latest book, "I Need Your Love - Is That True?", she maps how it is natural for human beings to seek approval. We want to feel loved. We need to know that it is there waiting for us.
For Katie, The Work in reversing this pattern is to question that need.
"Is that true?" she would say. "Take it to inquiry."
The product being a reversal of outside love, to a stronger, internal love.
I have found this very difficult. There are countless times when I seek approval from others. I can think of countless examples: "Listen to this poem" or "No, I like your shirt. Really" or "Do you like my blog."
Of course, I am human. To reverse something that has been set into motion by my environment, my cultural upbringing, and my personal integration of the world around me, is a slow, heart-wrenching process.
I do catch myself though, and that is a great moment for me. I stop myself when I am looking for approval, and have now started asking, "Do I need it?"
I think Sean's question is rooted in this concept for me. I hear him when he says someone does not sound themselves while blogging. I also hear that I do not need his approval, nor anyone else's. I am doing this for my own personal satisfaction. I like being a part of the world. I enjoy drawing little pictures to accompany text. This is why I blog.
As far as the rest of the world, I am sure you have your own reasons.
This concept of unedited dialogue also brings up another point for me as a writer - Do I edit? Is there something to spontaneous prose? Is writing a different reality so it doesn't matter? Is it just premeditated and there's nothing I can do about it? Is writing more genuine than speaking?
I don't know. I do know that the only writing I value is the writing that comes from "being in the zone" as Jim calls it. It takes a while to get there, but when I'm there, everything falls away. It's just me. No one else. (Marlowe had an interesting quote about this. Hopefully, he will see this and post it.)
See. I just did it. I was hoping Marlowe would see this and post. I am not in the zone, or I could say, "I am not in the creative writing zone." If I was, there would be no filter. I wouldn't be thinking about anything. I would just write.
I am new to this though. I am going to give myself a break. I am also more interested in connecting with people, and having discussions, rather than read long passages of fiction or prose. I am interested to see who else is thinking along similar pages. I want to steal an idea here and there. I want to feel the pulse of the world.