I know what you’re thinking. What on Earth does trash ball have to do with the price of tea in China?
Well, I’m sitting here writing. Yes. Actually putting pen to paper instead of typing everything out because typing hasn’t gotten me much of anywhere here lately. So, anyway, here I am, writing some new- probably fleeting- idea out, and I seem to keep getting frustrated, tearing the pages out, balling them up, and throwing them at the trash can.
I’ve decided that this is actually a very large part of writing, and an even larger part of why I haven’t been able to get anything decent out recently. There is a major flaw with technology these days in the field of writing, and it is this:
There is something supremely cathartic in the ability to rip your words out- the words you have brought to life in a story- ball them up, throw them, tear them further, stomp on them, and generally cause them the pain that they, in not flowing freely or correctly like you want them to, have ultimately caused you.
Unfortunately… you can’t do that with a Word document. No, no matter how many times you delete those words, whether you do it letter by letter, sentence by sentence, line by line, page by page, chapter by chapter, or an entire book at once, you will never feel as good as you do when you rip that page out and all but tell it that it is trash that no one loves. And yes, despite the fact that I sound not only vindictive but also insane at the moment does not go unnoticed.
I know my words are not people, they are not alive. That being said, though, they are in some way something… not inanimate. It’s because they live inside of me. I know the story they should put together, the story I want to put out to the masses, and the story that they are fighting against becoming. So, though I know there is nothing real about them, I also know that, if put together correctly, they have the potential to create a living picture in someone else’s mind as well, and that is beautiful.
Therefore, if Word really wants to impress me as a writer, it should give me the ability to somehow electronically and satisfactorily destroy my words like they sometimes do me.
So, if you’re having trouble with a piece, don’t keep trying on your laptop or desktop. Don’t scratch out lines. Write them, rip them out, and play a little trash ball. You might find it was exactly what you needed, just as I have.