Writing to Stay Present

Why do we write—why especially do we write real life—without knowing what we’re creating? Without a conscious plan? Because our lives happen minute to minute and there’s nothing we can do about it. Sometimes, as we’re trying to “stay present,” and the future is coming up and up and up, and the past is growing bigger but our memory of it is growing smaller, we start writing. We let our subconscious find a line of thinking that just maybe points to something in the past, or to something that is coming down the road and already causing anxiousness or dread or excitement though it hasn’t happened yet, and the writing is the only thing that helps us stay present. It’s our subconscious, seated in the present even as it feels the anxiousness or dread or excitement and even as it descends into memory, that leads us to that line of thinking. We follow, without knowing where or why or what we might find hanging there on the line and certainly without knowing what we might do with what we find to make it pretty.