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Write First, Edit Later

It’s a strange feeling when you want to write, but have no idea what. To stare at the blank page, the blinking cursor. Although there are no words, there is no quitting either. There is no reason to stop staring at the blank page because the writer knows soon enough something will leak out of their mind, heart, soul or whatever gets the credit for fueling creativity. The writer knows that if they wait, if they watch long enough, eventually something will come down and land on the page. They know that when it first lands on the page they’ll think it’s what they’ve been looking for, or realize they are wrong and want to delete it, but they don’t. They don’t because they’ve learned over time that whatever comes out came out for a reason. It doesn’t have to be coherent at the moment. The edit is where that happens. The so hated edit, that’s where the magic really takes place. Being creative is fine, but not without being a great editor. And a great editor can make anything read the right way, because the job of an editor is to find the truth already hidden inside the writing. The point of the original message regardless of how incoherent or cloudy it might come across its first time around.

The hunger prevents the quitter from being birthed. When the writer wants something bad enough they begin to feel it, daily. A steady obsessive ticking in the back of the mental clock. The ticking and ticking and ticking, it drives them to madness. There is clarity hidden in there. They know there is something important hidden and they are going to find it.
Even if it means they have to tear themselves apart in the process.
Even if they have to question all that they are doing.
Even if they have to break themselves down and ask the questions that might expose them and show their true colors after the countless lies fed in order to delude themselves and feel the illusion of happiness.

There’s something creeping in the writer. It knows the bullshit behind the idea of happiness, the fiction behind it all. There is a part of them aware that purpose means more than happiness, it makes more sense than reality itself and they are the only one who can fill their purpose. They are the only one who can share the message stuck in their mind and writing. Even if it’s personal, because it’s not, it’ll never be.

A writer’s hands types and types nonsense and nonsense, but they don’t stop. Whatever comes out does so for a reason. Whatever is there is present so that they could not only share it with others but understand themselves in the process and try to get the reader to understand.

Perspective.

The writer types and types and the words come out faster and faster. They can’t type as fast as these thoughtless words come out. There is much more than they anticipated, but determination to catch all of it, to not miss a single moment in the mix, to put this burst of inspiration in a bottle. It doesn’t make sense, yet. They know given long enough it will. With enough time, while digging through the useless things written down the realization that none of it is in fact useless will consume them. They see hope in its written form and how it fits into the bigger picture. This bigger picture assures them time isn’t wasted. It teaches that whether they make it or not, trying is good enough. Just reaching out to grab what they want it better than seeing it and letting it get away.

The obsession is enough will power to move forward. There is no letting any page go blank because something needs to be said, something needs to be shared and there will be a message. Even if the message turns out to be a hunt for the message, the point is that there was purpose. Someone needs to know that they aren’t searching alone. There are others out there needing to know the struggle is understood. To know others get what they’re going through, to stop them from quitting. The job of every message is for everyone to move forward, whether the words come out that way or not.

The point is someone is happy that there is a struggle. They love the fact that there is a rant about an empty page staring back at a hopeless individual struggling to think of a single word.

See, even when the piece starts without a message and without a purpose it’ll ultimately result in one through the process of doing. Purpose is about understanding. It’s about knowing where something fits and the writer being the only one who knows in order to put it together.

Through the course of writing this, this piece has gained several purposes. First, the proof that by doing comes understanding. Second is the realization that writing isn’t about the writer, but rather the reader. The message’s only purpose is to inspire someone, stop them from feeling alone or help them find their way.

I wrote this down for the writer, the slackers, the editors, the quitters, the haters, the lovers. I wrote this little rant, this thoughtless writer’s block attempt at glory, typed it up, just for you. Whoever you are. So that you may know what I’m going through, and however it may affect you if at all, I’ll at least know that I’ve done my part in writing it. I’ve done my part in putting the message out at least a little, whichever message you might have gotten from it.

I didn’t need to start with a purpose. I wrote until I found it, and now it’s here, it’s what this is about, and it’s what gets left behind with this.

By Jack Thomas