Writing is a unique form of expression. That remark might look a bit biased from the other side but I think it still holds true. It is true because of two specific qualities of writing that I’ve noticed – writing is continuous and writing is passive.
Let’s start with the latter.
Writing is Passive
My choice for the word passive comes from a very specific train of thought I had the other day. My friends and I were out exploring a place when we saw a very picturesque landscape. The sun was about to set down, shy by a few minutes or so, the lake was still and ducks moved above us in a perfect stream of quacks for it is the season of migration.
Prateek was in the group as well. He was using this moment to interact and experience with us while making his art through his array of cameras.
Prateek and I have very similar definitions when it comes to expression and we usually follow the same maxims as well. So, it was odd for me to notice a disparity in our styles for the very first time. It took me a minute or so to realise that it wasn’t because of anything that he was doing explicitly but in the nature of his art that he, at least in my uninformed and possibly flawed opinion, had to make a trade-off between completely embracing the moment and create his art.
I kept thinking about this over the weekend. I realised that writing is the only form of expression that gives you the luxury of experiencing first and expressing later.
Most art and expression requires you to cut some part of the moment off, to capture it the way you see it and through it, show what you feel when you see it the way you do. Writing is passive. It is quite literally a reverse process where you feel what you see and then you express it, when and however you want.
Writing is Continuous
However, that passive nature also creeps into thought and through it, your thought process. When you pursue writing, you trade some part of every moment for perspective.
As someone who constantly takes out some part of every experience and tries to write something around it, I would be lying if I said I don’t have that gear whirring constantly in my head. The constant train of thought that tries to understand things through perspective and different points of view.
Taking the same situation I quoted above into consideration. I was hit by a thought about how most art and expression is rather active. It was a random thought but it stayed in my head for slightly over three days. All the while, I kept pondering over it and tried understanding what I felt. As the thought stayed in my head, everything I looked at was influenced by it.
As a blogger, I have to craft blog posts. That rarely happens on the screen or a sheet of paper. Most of that crafting is done as I’m doing my daily chores and activities of lesser significance. An important point might hit me as I’m walking down the street, watching a movie, having lunch with friends and so on. That one instance is enough to form the basic idea for each post I’ve written.
The more I write, the more I notice myself looking at everything through a tight scope. It’s a state of constant detachment yet odd involvement. In that way, writing is continuous. Once you start putting your thoughts out compulsively, you can never go back to the way you saw everything.
Even a short walk through a crowded mall can give you perspective and somehow, I feel that is part-curse, part-power.
One Last Thing
This is in no way me trying to proclaim writing as the prime form of expression. This is just me musing over what I felt about my weapon of choice as I had a little experience the other day. I don’t know what you would or can take from it. All I know is that on days when everything fails to make sense, writing still does. I have reason to believe you feel the same for your process and that is the beauty of it.