A good writer is a good thinker, because what is expressible leaps forth into free-thought, and so the ideas are mostly a generation of the capacity of language itself, the thinker becoming a more or less anonymous vessel, stepping aside in order to let the thoughts dance by. This works even if the writer longs to be well-known, standing front and center.
If you earnestly attempt to reflect your feelings and thoughts accurately for many years, you suddenly, after very much bad writing, understand “where ideas come from” — they come from the act of writing and telling itself. The actual subject matter there to trigger it is more or less accidental, “the germ” as the writing classes call it.
If this entry were workshopped in a university class someone would comment on my multiple uses of “more or less.” Isn’t it useless cliche word-vomit that can be cut down into a cleaner sentence, with more active and sensual verbs too?
But I’m not even writing for other people anymore, much less to recognize myself as a writer — I just write because it’s how I generate my best ideas.
Now I just do it, I can’t think about it being for any particular book-project, or even being about anything. I want to move away from all writing having to be commoditized to be real writing. Writing is not a product, it is an activity, a praxis, a techne. Books are one thing — but writing is only a part of the way they are made, and maybe not so much in the way that you think.
A book is a structure — a form imposed on writing, telling. Ancestrally stories are a structure — a form imposed on telling. Now we are texty creatures too. Writing is like telling but also not. It is not a form imposed on speech, like storytelling, but a form imposed on expression itself, which is also visual, moody, and full of absences.
Writing can express expression more than telling, which is a form imposed on speech. Writing is a certain way of expressing telling, semiotic and lineated, full of new choices telling can’t make.
Drawing a picture is a form imposed on space. Video is to depictions as writing is to telling. The added expressive dimension of video is time, montage.
Books are one thing — but writing is only a part, perhaps a rather small part, of the book industry. The industry imposes a structure — but it’s not onto writing.
What is this structure of the industry imposed onto? Art as a social phenomenon?