I have been writing for a while now. I am using “writing” loosely to cover all of the times I pretended to type very important letters on the type writer in Victoria. The letters were incoherent of course. I was more interested in making the machine work hard by pushing every button as fast as I could.
I started my first big girl journal after sneaking into my older sister’s room and reading hers. CJ was so cool and I wanted to be just like her. So I took out a notebook and started writing. The older I got, the more complicated everything became and the more I had to write. I look through the early journals often when I go home. Mainly to see how many times Dawson’s Creek made me cry or when exactly I developed my thirst for expletives.
In high school I perfected the art of writing letters that I would never send. I would write them on airplanes and hide them in boxes or behind pictures of the person they were meant for. The most notorious letter I ever wrote was the one I planted in Jason’s dresser drawer. We had left on such bad terms, so instead of talking to him face to face, I wrote a long letter, in pen on white printer paper, and dropped it in his drawer when no one was looking. We’ve never talked about it.
I skipped the part in this story about how I would write to God. Just thought you should know that.
I love my handwriting. That is why I write. But please do not think that I like writing. I hate writing. There are very few things in my life that make me want to hide under the covers in protest and writing anything is one of them. It makes me confused and frustrated. I start, stop, reread, start again, stop again, ext ext. It is not a fluid process, at least not for me. I still do not know when to use commas properly and only remember what a conjunction does because of School House Rock. Writing implies a precision, a cohesion, an attention and a skill that like Joan Didion never found with intellectual ideas, I have never found with writing.
But the process, the brain to hand, the hand to pen, pen to paper process is most satisfying. I like the way my handwriting changes with my moods, with the urgency of my thoughts, or with different types of utensils. At this point in time, my choice instrument is the Pilot G-2 retractable black ball point pen. This gel roller really allows my hand to keep up with my mind, making sure the minimum amount of thoughts are left behind in the extraction process.
There is nothing like running your hand over the indentions on the back of a piece of notebook paper or signing your signature on the dotted line. I spent many long hours working on finding the perfect blend of cursive and print, which only became a constant four years ago.
Things that I hand wrote were the very first images I made.