I fancy myself as a writer (as opposed to being a recruiter which is what I was but am no longer) and as such I often get asked (not to mention me asking myself as well) where it (the words, thoughts, etc.) all come from. So many subjects to write about with no shortage of feelings to express yet still the question that remains unanswered is where does it all come from.
Aside from the where there is also the issue of how I go about the writing process in terms of deciding what to write about. Very simply my process is such that I do not write anything down on paper or prepare any material (aside from some basic research if I feel the article may warrant it) in advance leaving me to just sit in front of the computer and let the words flow freely from my mind.
There are times I will confess that I sit and stare at the screen for agonizing amounts of time as my finger lay still leaving a void where the words should be. To get my mental typewriter back to mentally typing I may listen to some quiet poetic music or just daydream for a while. Very often that will jump start the creativity that dwells within me.
It (these articles that I write) also comes together by focusing on specific people that I interact with on LinkedIn on a regular basis while trying to envision what they will say in addition to what comments others will make after they have read my article. I also try to gauge what the reading public would like to read which is one of the hardest parts of all of this. The times when I felt strongly that an article I wrote will garner interest, the article bombs. Conversely when I think I have done a terrible job next thing you know I have a “hit” on hands.
The next portion prior to getting back to where it all comes from is the question of why I write. Doing this mental exercise often lifts me out of my doldrums.
Having created something from nothing gives me a sense of accomplishment. When the article goes out live there is a sense of excitement as to potential new people I will connect with as a result of having written. The possibility of meeting new people online while discovering common bonds with them is often reason enough in of itself to write. People you never dreamed of or imagine existed are now an integral part of your life.
Further forestalling the answering of the where the question I thought you might want to get an idea of who influences me. My writing style is actually the lack of a concrete style. In a given paragraph or article I can be poetic while at other times more direct or bits of sarcasm may crawl their way in. In terms of influence listen to the likes of Phil Ochs, Harry Chapin, Paul Simon Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Don McClean, Joni Mitchell, and so many others who fill my head with the wonderment of their words not to mention the music that so wonderfully compliments their lyrics.
So where does it all come from? My mind is filled with sounds or images that I frame and store for future use. It comes from listening to people talking as they pass by me or even the style of a house. To further elaborate on where it comes from, a few moments ago two cats were fighting outside my living window. Our cat, by the way, was not involved in the fracas as she does not leave our apartment. Those two cats just scratched, clawed and howled their way into this article.
Where else might you ask where does it all come from? It comes from somehow being sad and lost as now being in my 60th year of life I am feeling (please read my article Oh No, I’ve Hit The Big 60) afraid/terrified that death is a reality that is closer than ever before. It comes from wondering where there be a tomorrow to wake up to or I am I just writing words that my eyes will never see the daylight of.
You may wonder where it (the writing) started and when did I realize I had the ability to write. For this writer, it started with an essay in Elementary School that dealt with fire safety that was deemed impressive enough that I was entered into a district-wide writing contest that in all honest don’t remember if I won or not. High School journalism class (I have shared some of my material with you from those years) is where I finally became convinced (I came within a whisker of being awarded a scholarship to the Columbia University School of Journalism) I could write.
Now perhaps it is time to ponder where I go from here and not to mention where it is I want to go from here. Of everything I have been asked by readers along with fellow writers, this is by far the most difficult question to answer. I do not know (actually I do but I choose not to reveal it only to select close friends in addition to my wife) where I want all of this to wind up. At this conjecture, I fail to be able to conceptualize the ideal climax.
Where it all comes from is life. From the laughter of two grandchildren, I rarely get to see or speak to over the telephone. It comes from that ridiculous racket that emanated from that machine attached to a van that screeched almost unceasingly from across the street. It comes from walking past that house on 23rd Avenue one sultry Summer Friday night. It comes from the successful passing of another 2:00 am without that horrible nightmare that struck me and that has stuck with me for the better part of days now.
“Until she comes again I can hear the things she said. I feel no thoughts to move my head.”
–Until She Comes (Psychedelic Furs)
This is where (with inclusions mentioned above) it all comes from.