The act of writing

Curious. The term ‘writing’ combines (implies?) both the act of transforming ideas into words and composing the words themselves. Ideas flow out in the form of words and, if referring to the physical act of writing, the commitment of these thoughts into a tangible form (marks on paper) as well – a third thing that the term writing implies. Writing on screen in a text processing programme on the other hand is a bit more nebulous and tentative in terms of the shape and form that the writing takes.

Of course there is a difference between the words ‘writing’ and ‘typing’ as well. Typing sounds mechanical, without referring to the act of formulating ideas at all. Conjuring up an image of a boss dictating something for a secretary to bash out on the typewriter (the image may well be gendered by the way). And the ‘typing pool’. Not a word that’s relevant with today’s text processing tech.

In my first post I wrote how the making of this blog will be therapeutic, as the acts of writing, editing and publishing will be one and the same. On second thought that actually won’t be possible. While I have not been heavily editing or polishing my text here so far and tend to just let ideas flow, I’m writing this text in private right now and am correcting and editing as I go along. This act is not public, you can’t see me write and edit in real time, and the text won’t be made public until I press the ‘publish’ button. How might we develop a way to unite the acts of writing, editing and publishing into one performative act? I guess this is entirely possible. One continuous stream of conciousness committed into prose: no chance to go back to what has been written to fix mistakes, or have second thoughts on ideas that you’ve put down. No opportunities to structure your thoughts other than what’s available intrinsically to the language/script’s orthography: glyphs, word spaces, punctuation, casing (to use the Latin script as an example) not even line/paragraph breaks, and certainly no semantic tagging of any sort. And all of that broadcasted/streamed as a live performance. Something to think about.

(written in bed on my iPhone Xs in the Tumblr app on a Saturday morning. It’s now 7:50am.)

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