Thursday, November 29, 2012

Becoming a Writer

“One hasn't become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.”
- Niyi Osundare

I think I’m becoming a writer.                  

And by that, I don’t mean I am becoming wise or poetic or intellectual. I mean that I spend my time, free or not, hunched over a blinding computer screen, my fingers chattering over my keyboard in desperation. My posture, which has always been pathetic, is becoming atrocious, my neck and elbows bent permanently in place. My eyesight, which has long ago sold me out, chooses now to plague me, blurring and burning and blurring.

Music is no longer art. It is my tool, and I wield it without pity, more my slave than my muse. I plug my ears with it and demand, "Sing for me. Inspire me now. Now, now."

When I am away from my pages, my mind flits through plots and characters and dialogue. When I eat a sandwich I no longer dwell on the taste of the bread. Instead, I think, “Would my character eat this? How would they hold it in their hands? Would they share a piece? Cut the crusts? What would their faces say if it fell onto the ground? If a bird snatched it away? If they knew it had been poisoned?”

When I converse with others, my thoughts are halting. I abandon casual social interactions to chase just one word, one that was used flippantly and dropped to the ground. I pick up the gem that another spat out, rub my thumb across it, and take it back to my story. I place it eagerly and intricately inside my work, nestled among my collection of similarly glittering garbage.

I cannot think anymore; I can only wonder. 
I cannot sleep; I can only dream. 
I cannot write; I can only write, write, write, write.

For God’s sake, I hope I’m worth it.

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