Tuesday, February 3, 2009


The discussions on writing this weekend got me thinking about the nature of words.

I like words. In fact, I love words. They are the glue that holds society together, and the hands that rip it apart....

Without words, we wouldn't have such concepts as love, romance, or honor. Or, we might have them, but giving a thing a name makes it real.

The versatility of words is amazing to me. I tend to use some of them more often than others, just like anyone else... We all have our verbal quirks, after all.

The way different words impact different people, and putting them together in different combinations to see which ones stick, so to speak.

I'll admit something right here... half the things that ya'll love in this blog, phrases, imagery, and such, are things that I've just thrown out there because I couldn't think of a better way to do it.

I don't do drafts. If I save something as a draft on my blog, it's never going to make it on the main page. I've got a bunch of those that I swear I'm going to finish and post someday... but if those tales ever see the light of day, they'll be completely re-written.

If I'm not satisfied with it in one sitting, for a blog post, it's stale the next time I look at it. We here at Tractor Tracks are dedicated to bringing you only the freshest words and phrases.

Jane is, of course, the exception to this rule, which is why it takes me so long to get a chapter up. When I started, I was just messing around, so it was ok for it to be mediocre and awkward in places... but now that people like it and are asking for more, I feel like I have to give them my best.

I am honestly envious of people who can save a draft, go back and tweak it, and then post. If I don't get it up before I walk away from the computer, the words are doomed to languish in Draft, with all the other neglected words, smoking cigarettes and asking each other "what are you in for?"

There is a zone that I find sometimes, when I'm writing something, where everything else just goes away and if you could peek into my head you'd see some really good CGI of words and phrases swirling around each other in an ether of creativity, some of them finding their way down my arms and into the post, the remainder floating gently to rest until the next time.

Let me tell you, it's a good thing I'm a fast typist, because otherwise, I'd never be able to hold on to an idea long enough to finish it.

But all any of my writing is, and I suspect in their own ways most writers feel like this, is an experiment. It's just a little kid taking blocks and building something. My blocks are words, and sometimes I build a graceful tower, magnificent to the eye and ear, but it's precarious, and will fall at the first harsh look.

Sometimes, I build a solid little house that you couldn't knock over with a brick, and when people like it, I go back and what I thought was a squat, ugly block of a thing turns out to have hidden grace that I didn't even recognize the first time around.

And that is the amazing thing about words, right there.

Ain't they fun?


Old NFO said...

Well said FG :-) Words often take on different meanings depending on the person reading it, as we discussed... I prefer the stream of (un)consciousness writing myself. That way I get it over and done, and I'm on to the next Rant!:-)

Farmgirl said...

It's not so much a stream of consciousness thing for me, because I will pause and use the backspace key to fix something that didn't come out quite right, but more like the story is telling ME how it wants to be told, rather than me forming it.

When I speak of characters talking to me in my head, I'm only about half kidding.

And yes, that weirds me out, probably more than it does anyone else.

Old NFO said...

Oh the old I'm schizophrenic, and so am I deal huh? :-)

Each of us is different in the whys, hows, and what we want to accomplish. That is, to me, the great thing about our group(s). Remember, this last weekend, we were all equals, coming from a common ground, and simply enjoying each other's company. That in itself is worth ALL the time and effort each of us took to get there.

Christina LMT said...

You do have a way with them, that's for sure!
I don't do drafts, either. I have been known to go back and edit/tweak a blog post that's already up on my blog, though...