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Thursday, 24 December 2015

So Here's The Deal

Ideas and Opinions | Milo

Here's a few parapgraphs I wrote after a prompt from Moose, and it's about the relationship between a reader and the writer. Milo Out.    

So here’s the deal.

Moose and I were chatting the other day and he’s charged us both with writing something interesting and life affirming by the end of today, and I intend on beating him to it. However, I wasn’t initially sure what I would write, nor what the point of it would be and if I was to be entirely honest I’m still not sure I know. However, hanging vaguely in the imagined pink, gloop that is my mind is an idea, and I’ll follow wherever it may go.

So here’s the deal.

That phrase stuck with me as it danced onto the page, chasing the blinking “dash” on my no longer blank Microsoft Word sheet, and those four words have contracted me. Those four words now commit me to explaining what the “deal” is, and offering it to “you”, whoever you may be. You see, I am somebody with aspirations of being a writer, and it is through the written word that I am most at ease and full of expression; quite ironic for a podcaster you might think! Nevertheless, I am sure you might have noticed that I have a habit of speaking, and speaking and speaking often restarting and rephrasing the same point several times until I am happy with its weight, oration and clarity…much in the same way that a writer writes, I find myself speaking.  

Indeed whenever I write, whether it’s an email, a poem for myself, or this piece right here and now for The Patient Approach, I find the task to be “work”, a physically exertive bit of work. If I may be verbose, the task of conversing and conveying a point involves cutting words out of parchment, and chiselling away until you leave it with thick and well defined sentences that are both easy on the eye, and heavy with meaning. Oftentimes, such as now, my exuberance escapes me and what becomes a simple point is soaked until it becomes much fatter and sweeter. Perhaps too fat, and perhaps too sweet. However, when writing I am able to cut off the fat, as I am able to salter the sweetness. I can’t do this when I am speaking, or at least I cannot do this quite so nimbly. Writing and talking are both like sculpting, however with both talking and sculpting once you have ruined the base material the thing is fucked i.e. if you chisel a stone too smooth or cut a chunk too small you’ll surely need a new one, likewise if I say something to offend you eventually my words will only succeed in digging me a hole. There is no easy reset, however with writing there is.  

There I just did it. But you can’t see it. Just now, a number of fatty and decadent sentences were scrapped. In many ways then writing is the domain of the perfectionist.

And yet on another level, writing and its errors are far more frightening and damning than any pitfalls one might find in sculpting or speaking. After all, as I type, I am speaking to dozens of imagined voices in my own head, and I stand in that asylum of distant echoes, sporadic applause and empty heckles that is the writer’s mind. Indeed, on one level I can edit, I can cut, I can delete without fear, but once finished I am contracted. My written words stand before me and cannot be forgotten, they cannot be truly scrapped, and they cannot be truly erased. One this post is on the internet, it is forever, it cannot be forgotten.

It may never be read, but it will never be forgotten.

And in contracting myself, I contract you also. I make a deal with you that you will understand these words as they fall through your eyes and reform in your mind. I make a deal with you, that you will be charitable to any confusion and will seek clarity on any contradictions. You make a deal with me that I will not be a tyrant and that I will act on any feedback, and that I am genuine and accountable for what I have written. You make a deal with me that I will not waste your time.

So I say it again.

Here’s the deal.

Thank you for accepting it, knowingly or otherwise.    

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