Today, I was watching one of the TED talks with this engineer who designs chairs. He began with an anecdote about the romance of falling in love with airplanes and design, and how his early passion as a child has translated to a lifelong commitment to understanding how the things he loves most, work.
Needless to say, it was a powerful message, and who would have thought the ergonomics of sitting down could be so interesting? At least I didn't at first, when I was looking around this afternoon for topics online involving being still, meditation, and introspection. I don't know what I was looking for really, and maybe that is the point as well.
I go through these periods of tremendous introspection every now and then, sometimes with a conscious effort, and other times to the frustration of those closest to me. Try to get me to be a social butterfly when I'm swimming in the deep, and frankly you will find you are pulling teeth.
However, writing down my thoughts and feelings and conclusions can be a wonderful outlet and exercise for me, while on the other hand I recognize that being too introverted can also be detrimental to one's interpersonal relationships. It's a fine balance, as is everything.
Here's the situation: I've been writing like a maniac for the last couple days, and yet I'm still not pushing myself to the place I want to be in, to tell the kind of story I know is inside me. So, what gives?
I strongly believe that the physical act of writing and purging is important--getting that ass in your chair, and not getting up until you are seeing progress or real results, in real time. But what about all the mental processing that needs to go on inside too? How can you attempt to write about something, unless you've already worked out some sort of meaning for it--the answers to: Why must this story be told? Why is this so important to me? And is it really deserving of an audience?
And then of course, there is your emotional well-being; when you dig down into a place that you are not yet ready to go. I'm a master of avoidance, especially when dealing with certain subject matter. Partly, why I have shied away from writing about myself much, and have stuck to light-hearted fiction to assess and appreciate the world around me.
Maybe I'm just another romantic, like this engineer. Maybe just as he decided to build chairs instead of planes, I'm a writer hacking out fiction when I really want to be getting to the heart of what makes people tick--what makes me tick. Or perhaps, it goes hand and hand, in this interconnected web of knowledge and experience.
Trust me, I don't have the answers, but if I ever find them in my search, I hope to God I can write a great F'n book as a result.