I really enjoy the act of writing, I don’t mean typing away on a keyboard or writing to be published or blogging, I mean putting pen (or pencil) to paper and actually writing. It doesn’t matter what I’m writing, whether it’s an article about something I care about or an address on an envelope as long as I’m writing for me. Iit doesn’t matter how many (incredibly useful) apps I have for making lists to organise my life, nothing beats the feeling of writing a list and putting a satisfying strike through each item. The same goes for diaries and calendars, flipping forward through the pages to mark down upcoming events such as a cool trip away or some special event, they’re not exactly something you find lying around a few years later, have a good old thumb through and reminisce over, in fact I can only think of one occasion I’ve used a digital calendar to backdate something and it was incredibly tedious, like they don’t want you looking back.
Maybe it’s the physicality of the written word that appeals to me? I’m really enjoy artists who incorporate text such as Ed Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg and Kurt Schwitters to name a few, and I’m also (probably) overly critical of my own writing and have tormented myself over using text in my own art work, that fear of exposure and harsh critique too overwhelming to contemplate.
REVIEW IT LOOK IT OVER AND WHAT EVER © Edward Ruscha
My love of writing started early on, I can clearly remember the frustration at being unable to actually write real words, but I would still spend afternoons making lines of swirling patterns in a vague attempt to mimic what other people did when writing – especially the super flouncy joined up fancy writing. So what followed was disappointment that my writing never looked as neat and swirly as any grown up I knew (I still have unattractive handwriting) and then a teenage identity crises when I tried to copy my peers as their handwriting styles were so much cooler than mine.
Of course there were periods when I detested writing, such as exam time when I had to write pages and pages in response to questions about the setting and atmosphere of Macbeth in under a couple of hours, to the point where it feels like you hand is going to fall off and the almost neat handwriting makes away for barely legible scrawl, much like what happened when I first drafted this post in my notebook, late at night, the tight cramping feeling inching further up my forearm to my elbow.
We make many excuses why it’s not the right time to write (as artists, the perfect time to create in whatever medium), and I’m no exception. I have my optimum conditions for writing, which include: with a soft bound A5 (ish) size notebook, and a good black ballpoint pen (I have some favourites that write well, most seem to come from medical reps). If I’m typing for my blog / the web, then I really struggle unless I’m sat at my pc with a full size keyboard (although at a laptop with a full size keyboard will do), this can halt my creativity as I get a lot of inspiration whilst travelling, especially on trains and although I have a tablet I just cannot type fast enough on a touch screen device to keep pace with my thoughts
I am interested to know how other people overcome these type of writing problems?