Join the Dots

Did you enjoy these as a kid? Some of them so obvious that you knew half way around what the picture would turn out to be. Some looked as if a person had taken a handful of dots and scattered them across the page, each landing in a seemingly random positions; until you joined the last dot with the first and the picture became clear.

My writing group has asked to to do a “presentation” of sorts about blogging at our next meeting; so naturally my mind has turned to my blog. Why do I write here? Is it a distraction from my “real” writing, or is it a natural part of it?

I think I started this naively thinking that it would distinguish me from the other writers in this town. Honestly, take two steps and you’ll trip over a writer in this place. On the street I live on there is one other playwright that I know of; there are bound to be others lurking about.

What I hadn’t thought about was the huge community of writers that exist in cyberspace, that I would just become one in a million rather than just dime a dozen!

So if it isn’t about audience creation (or any other marketing jargon you’d like to insert here) – why do I write this blog?

Distraction. Procrastination. Even thinking of these words makes me feel a little guilty; they sound like something you could be charged with:

“Whiti Hereaka, you have been charged with Procrastination in the first degree; how do you plead?”

What hasn’t occurred to me before, is that procrastination may in fact be a necessary part of writing.

Here’s what I think. When I’m hot on a story nothing in the world can distract me. I get excited and I can’t wait to write. Often I will sit and write until it is all down, cursing that I still haven’t learnt to touch type as my fingers struggle to catch up with my mind. If I do have to do other things (work, sleep) then the story is all I think of. I draw parallels in what I’m doing. I see connections I haven’t seen before.

When I’m not clear on what I want to write then sitting at my desk is the last place I want to be. I simply cannot write while the house is in this state! I’ll do some cleaning, and then I’ll write… sound familiar?

Procrastination is your mind begging you for more thinking time.

I’ve begun to think of my blog the same way I do about my MA. People often ask if my MA in Creative Writing was “worth it”, and I always say that I guess I could have learnt all of it on my own – but it would have taken years of my life to do it .

Blogging has become my way of connecting all my random thoughts about writing and story; it has allowed me to see the big picture. It is my thinking time; this little bit of distraction has probably saved me months of anguish as I try to figure out what is plainly in front of me. That is why I blog.


Filed under On being a Writer

2 responses to “Join the Dots

  1. littlegemsession

    Yeah, I like your version much better than calling it procrastination, which it does feel like sometimes. Also I love the way creative friends from around the globe and drop by and give you moral support and v-versa 🙂

  2. Whiti

    It is nice to have people drop by and encourage my thinking time…if only I could offer virtual tea! From now on, everyone imagine that I have given you a nice cup of tea when you drop by. There is a danger that we could end up like the March Hare and the Mad Hatter forever taking tea.
    I’m willing to take that risk if you are!

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