Why I Am a Messy Writer

messy writing
I tried to make it legible just for you.

Messy Handwriting and Typos

I’ll start by clarifying that the “messy writer” designation can apply to both the form and content of my writing. I have poor eyesight and shaky hands, which can make a mess of things on paper and screen. You see the little scribble thing above? That’s me writing neatly. Very neatly.

I’m a good enough typist that I did it for a living for a while, but as much flack as it gets, I have to tip my hat to autocorrect, particularly being able to add autocorrect rules to Microsoft Word. For example, if I’m typing fast, I cannot type the word “work”. I just went back and fixed it; I typed “word”. Every time, WORK is WORD. Does that have a deeper meaning to it, I don’t know.

The Writing Mess

Apart from that, I also took the “don’t edit while you write” tip very seriously from a young age. AKA,

You can fix a first draft but you can’t fix a blank page.unknown

Or the fun version,

Write drunk, edit sober.not Hemingway

So from around 13 years old I’ve been writing with as little restraint as possible, filling notebooks and file folders with utter crap (and maybe a few salvageable lines). I don’t hoard it all, but I don’t spend a lot of time cleaning it up either. That is my mess. And I figure in any mountain of trash you’re bound to find a few gems worth polishing. Or, publishing.

I write…

I don’t believe anyone can truly know anything, which throws the whole “write what you know” thing out of whack for me.

I write what I guess. I write what I think? I write what I read. I write what I hallucinate, what I delusion, what I (mis)interpret, what I can/can’t imagine. I write who I live, who I let live, who I let die. I write flaws, and the flaws of flaws. I write un and happy endings.

I write where I live, I write BC, London, and the big London. I type Toronto. I write my community. I write LGBT. I write poverty. I write privilege. I write music, I write visual art, I write writing: lost, found, long, short, meta, alpha, beta, crooked, cooked, vain, vague, clichéd, funny, charming, witty, sadomasochistic, appropriate and just plain rude.

I write fear. I left my stomach on the west coast.

I write puzzles. I write nonsense with my incense.

I write messes like this one.


PS, I’ve been listening to “Why I Am” by Dave Matthews Band.

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