Friday, November 03, 2006

Scratching The Itch

I am not, it appears, a committed blogger. I don't live and die by the words I spout on this site. I suppose I am afraid I will be discovered to be like the boyfriend on "Designing Women" who was rejected because, "After all, you can only go so shallow before you hit rock bottom." Another way to discribe it is to be found to be "a mile wide and a foot deep."

So how important are these blog site people work so hard to assemble?

For one person it chronicles the progress in preparing and selling a house.

Others launch blogs to present a political perspective or advance a niche cause (I'll let you search the world of blogs for those. It won't be hard.)

There are some lonely hearts (or leacherous ones) who use them like an old fashioned fishing line thrown into the river. They return every so often to check for nibbles. I think some are simply lonely and find this a way to reach out from their cloistered world into the travels of others.

There are one or two, like me, who just get an itch to write and need to scratch it. I find my itch usually starts with an off-hand comment or a well-turned phrase. They get the juices flowing. My mind reaches out to explore verbs, nouns, prepositional phrases as well as local and regional word pictures to describe what I am wading through.

Unfortunately for me (but probably a fortunate event for the reading public), I am usually bound the steering wheel of my pick-up, enduring another hour of windshield time. By the time I get in front of a keyboard and am able to organize my thoughts, the muse has flown to another heart and I am left with the empty feeling of an unfilled writer's larder.

My "itch" has been very quiet lately. The flighty muse must be off visiting poets, painters, and purveyors of various prose. I wondered lately why my western, begun in a blaze of glory, has bogged down in a muddy river of apathy and stunted vision. As I tooled along country roads this week, I checked off the list of reasons many writers have given (some are excuses, I am sure) for leaving a story for other more interesting vistas.

The reality is, unlike many efforts buried in the genre of blogging, creative writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, fluff or techno-jargon, life-changing or simply entertaining, is hard work. Some follow a stream of consciouness in writing that meanders like a rural creek or thunders like a untamed river pouring out a torrent of verbal energy. Others adopt a disciplined approach outlining in such detail that the final creation is as meticulous as their well-ordered sock and underwear drawer.

In the end, however, creativity is an investment of a person with an abundance. They are willing to take a chance on another who is desires to draw on the writer's available resources and touch a part of life denied them.

It is the reason Tom Clancy took the reading public to the bottom of the oceans in "Hunt for Red October." Generations have solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Stephen King scares the bejeebers out of folks who are relieved to know the dog isn't real.

Writing is good. It is, for me, somewhat theraputic. I hope, however, it gives you time to think, to measure, and to enjoy this day.