Due to some great feedback I received on the fastwrite I posted last night, I have decided to post the second part. The first fastwrite was supposed to be done from my perspective as I’m doing something with an object that’s important to me. I chose pens. The second fastwrite was supposed to be about the same object and action, but looking back on it. This is the second part. Again, it is a fastwrite, so it will be rather bumpy. We are instructed to give no heed to grammar, spelling, or even content. The only goal is to keep our pens moving. With that in mind, I bequeath to you this fastwrite, and pray you be gentle with it.
How can one spend so much time, hunched over a blank sheet, wielding such a humble tool? How could anyone derive enjoyment from such a task? Yes, I do them, I pour hour upon hour into those pages. I often catch a small smile dancing across my lips, threatening to break into a full-pledged grin. I feel that thrilling rush one gets in a game of cat and mouse, twirling my precious characters around that might pen. But once I’ve stopped, when I look back, I have to ask these questions right along with all of those who’ve never experienced such a thrill.
When I’ve woken from that trance-like state, stood and stretched, released the pen and relinquished the power of its fine ink, I’m left with naught but sore fingers, an aching neck, long since sleeping feet, a stiffness that never quite leaves my joints. How could anyone derive such joy from something so monotonous, so strange, so – dare I say it – boring? Why is it that I have such a great urge to again take up that favored pen, that raging weapon, that placid tool, the moment I turn away from it? It has no voice; it cannot call out to me. It has no hands, nor arms, to reach out and grab hold of me. It has no legs to chase me down. How then can it be so thoroughly lodged in my mind as to constantly pull me back, as if by siren’s song?
Perhaps it isn’t the pen at all, but the alternate world it unlocks. Perhaps what truly calls to me, is that place of freedom, where the writers rule. It is not a perfect world, no, not at all. Far from it. Only a perfect being could create a perfect world, and heaven knows we’re far from perfect. But the characters, the places, the wondrous, deep, and twisted stories never before told, the worlds never before discovered, perhaps these are where my longing lies. These dark tales of woe and fear, with but pinpricks of hope to give them light, these are where my heart lies.
I do know why I never cease my longing for a magnificent pen in my hand, I’ve always known. But it’s not for reasons most suspect. Many believe that writers write because they long for the freedom to escape, to go anywhere, do anything. But truly, the reason we beg for a pen and page, the reason we long for our alternate worlds, is that there we find the truth of who we are. We find not an escape, but our ugly selves staring back at us, and by looking into our own eyes, in our own worlds reflected, we can search our own hearts and souls and find our troubles there. Rather than trying to talk our pains into cooperation, we can dive into the swirling chaos inside ourselves, with our pens to light our way, our ink to form a protective shield, until we reach the heart of it all in the eye of our heart’s storm. Our problems look so neat there on the page, deceptively so. The reader thinks they read none but another story. But we know the truth hidden between those lines, the heartaches poured out on each page. And by reading our words, we put them all to rest. By letting our souls come alive in a tool as humble as a pen, we can release ourselves into the pages, and live our lives as they were meant to be. We wipe our clouds away, and receive a purer, cleaner, truer view of this filthy, precious world we live in.