Monday, October 22, 2007

"Head" Writing

I have recently come to the conclusion that I am a "head" writer. What, you may ask, is "head" writing? I'll get to that, but first I have to start back at the beginning...

As a child there were several things I wanted to be when I grew up. A writer, a teacher, an artist, a librarian, a lawyer; the list goes on. And several things I loved to do: play school where i would force my little sister to "learn" what I had been taught at school (perhaps this is why she did so well throughout elementary school), jump rope (the glories of a multi-colored beaded rope and light up shoes were a real crowd pleaser during performances around the state), read (I wanted to open a neighborhood library in my playroom...the main collection consisting of the Babysitter's Club series and the Golden Disney books. I just knew that there was a growing demand for these in the population of that small town, especially among the kids, all 12 of us, the majority of them being boys), draw (I wanted to design dresses...all kinds), write (though at the time I wrote mostly horror stories inspired by R.L. Stein...not the abysmal "Goosebumps" series, but the good stuff, the "Fear Street" series), and Barbie...I know, I know...the cliche of the little girl with her anatomically impossible blonde Barbie complete with Dream House (including a pull-string operated elevator) and the bubblegum pink convertible. I always wanted the Barbie Camper, but never received it. It was quite a tragedy.

Along the lines of Barbie, there were always a few things that bothered me. Why, I thought, did I always receive a blonde Barbie? I desperately wanted a Barbie with anything BUT blonde hair. So one year I asked for Totally Hair Barbie (she had hair all the way down to her feet) and specified that I wanted the Black one. I was so pleased when I received this Barbie. She was beautiful in her blue and neon green technicolor micromini dress with glorious black hair, brown skin and brown eyes. Finally!! Sister received the blonde one. But my obsession with the anti-blonde didn't end there. I wanted a Ken with brown hair. I hated the blonde Ken with a passion. I don't think they even made a Ken without blonde hair at the time, I hadn't seen one, but I told my parents nonetheless and, low and behold, I was presented with a brown haired Ken doll. I was ecstatic and took him out of the box immediately. He actually had hair, where blonde Ken had a painted plastic head. This was even better! But then tragedy struck. As I was changing Ken into a day outfit, his tuxedo was not appropriate for a drive through the country, his leg broke off! I tried desperately to reattach his leg, but was unable to perform such a miracle. Sadly, brown haired Ken was lost to me. He was placed in the toybox never to be seen again. So it was back to the blonde Ken and the "perfection" that he and Barbie represented. I also remember trying to replace blonde Ken with a "transformed" Skipper. One time, I cut all of Skipper's hair off and colored what remained with a brown marker. Goodness!

Anyways, back to the point. Though I was interested in several things as a child, my ambitions have slightly changed over the years. I stopped playing with Barbie's (subsequently losing my drive for a brown haired Ken doll), I moved on from the jump rope team, I no longer wanted to design dresses, I didn't want to be a librarian (though I wouldn't mind running a quaint used bookstore/coffeeshop/cafe somewhere rustic). The two things that have remained are teaching and writing. I'm working on the teaching aspect, but it's the vein of writing that has me constantly stumped. This is where the "head" writing comes in. I find that I write profound and complex things...in my head! Especially while lying in bed at night surrounded by darkness and silence. Yet when I go to actually write my thoughts down, they come out sounding uninspired and amateur. Why? Who knows. I wish there were a way to record my "head" writing without actually writing. It seems that as soon as the pen touches the page my brain melts, flows away from my thoughts and I'm left building bridges that are never able to convey exactly what I want to say. One day I hope to conquer this obstacle to my writing, but for now I'll settle with composing amazing prose in my head and writing the mediocre.

That's all for now...