Friday, October 7, 2016

3 Qualities of the Present Moment That Help Writing: #2 Is It's Endlessly Discursive

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The present moment is curated by an internal voice. 

This internal talk is a procession of phrases, images, emotions, prompts, fragments, overheard language, self-generated judgments about writing ability, Vygotskian inner speech, William Jamesian stream of consciousness, sensations, after-images, anticipations of audience, and crystallizations of past writing performances, as well as moments made blank by the unconscious. 

We may not be aware most of the time of the ongoing chat, despite how it steers our actions and outlook, unless we are trying to develop our present awareness. 

With the language-covered present, hundreds of moments pass carrying innumerable phrases, concepts, images, and traces of voice, like a series of boxcars covered in interesting graffiti. 

This internal talk serves a critical role in writing, perhaps especially so during invention. Through intrapersonal rhetoric, a writer frames his or her writing ability, addresses audience, and participates in inquiry that leads to creative-rhetorical discoveries and content. Writers can scan this internal talk to locate potentially interesting content as well as pinpoint assumptions they may be dragging into the writing occasion.

The important point is how this internal talk is low-stakes, messy, disordered, and readily available. Writers are constantly generating text due to the nearly unavoidable discursivity of the human mind. Having “nothing to say” or “feeling at a loss for words” or any writing block is really a condition of mindlessness: a lack of awareness of what’s really happening in the present moment. 

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