Writing about writing is kind of like talking about talking, explaining the way words are formed, the way you push air through your vocal cords to produce sounds. Could you do it? Could you say the word “speak” and then explain in absolute terms how you did it?
I don’t think I could, and I’m pretty good with words.
I write a lot, about a lot of different things. I write with short sentences and long ones. With easy words and words that make you think. I write by hand, with a pencil, or on my computer, one key at a time. I write naturally, about everything that touches my soul. But even I don’t know how to write about writing.
How do you explain to someone that you sit down on the floor, light a candle, and press the tip of your pencil to the page until the words stop coming? How do you explain to someone that you pour your soul out through your hand and bring tears to your own eyes? How do you explain to someone who doesn’t know you, or what it means to be a writer, that the urge to write–like the urge to eat–cannot be ignored? How do you explain the way it feels to ignore it? The way your mind spins and your attention wanders?
My first answer, is that you don’t. You don’t explain it, because they won’t understand.
But what kind of writer would I be if I backed down from a challenge? What kind of writer would I be if I said ‘No, I can’t write about that, it’s too hard, or too personal, or too complicated?’
I won’t be that kind of writer. Will you?