I’ve got nothing today. And am miserably hampered by this new keyboard I downloaded as a remedy to the daily rage and trauma inflicted unwittingly by me upon my loyal readers by the misuse of commas, the picking of wrong spellings, and other grammatical “errors” that make your heads want to explode.
Here’s the thing, I don’t feel like I should have to be constrained by your conceptions of proper speech and writing. Writing the way I write is part of my identity, as immutable as my sex, my gender, my height, my bitter clutching at God, and my cis-gendered pronoun use. Keep your grammatical rules off my body. Stop oppressing me.
Seriously though, the keyboard is already really tiny, but now Grammarly has slightly adjusted the spacing of the letters, and as I write each word the little circle spins and thinks and a little green flag pops out at the left trying to guess where I’m going. It is Extremely Distracting. And I assume it’s why literally nobody read my blog yesterday. It couldn’t have been because it was a bad and boring post.
I’ve been slowing relishing listening to Natalie Goldberg read her own book, Writing Down The Bones. I’m not going very fast because I’m afraid of its coming to an end, so I haven’t got very far. So I shouldn’t be writing about it. But isn’t one of the Main Things about the internet? The compulsion to pontificate splendidly over that which you are almost completely ignorant? When everybody is an expert, nobody is. Count me in.What I’m trying to say is, I love Natalie Goldberg. She is a Buddhist of some kind, and I am a Christian, and I think she would probably take a strong dislike to me, but I feel she is my kindred person. Somehow she has described to me the manner in which I fell into writing–the sort of narrow tightwire between ethereal desire and the blistering material drudgery of just putting the words down. The word I’m looking for is Discipline. You show up, you do it, no matter what you feel or what you have or what you think.
Here I am, ten years too late, realizing that I should have been indulging myself every day in cheap notebooks with a certain kind of pen. You open the book. You scrawl rapidly. You shut the book. Nobody ever reads it. You begin to trip over the stacks of notebooks lying here and there. The physicality of it, the material sense of pen to paper for some brief moments allows your mind and soul to mysteriously come into being. For a brief bright moment you are somebody, somebody you yourself can know. It’s very zen, I think…knowing nothing about that sort of thing.
But I didn’t know about the notebooks and the pen. My narcissistic drive to be a Better Writer came into full bloom through the immediacy of blogging. The constraints of the tiny keys, the pain in the neck, the burgeoning carpal tunnel, the bright screen, the Publish Button somehow began to bring forth the knowing of myself, just for a few moments every day, the restful sense of being a person and having a mind. I craved it before but am now completely addicted.
And now I’ve added this Grammarly keyboard, as a concession to those readers who I have come to love and upon whom I depend. But I feel like its destroying everything, the keyboard that is. It’s like the apocalypse. I will probably never be happy again. And in World Happiness Week no less. Tinkerty Tonk.