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I've been coming to E2 for quite a while, but I rarely ever contribute my own writing to the mix. It's not that I don't have a lot of ideas or things to write about. There are always plenty of thoughts going around in my head. I just don't like the process of forming my thoughts into words, sentences, paragraphs. Rarely do I complete a node without getting frustrated and giving up... short attention span aside, frustration just comes quickly when trying to express myself through the English language.

Speaking and writing come easily to a lot of people; just look at this site. I'm sure many people (and probably you) think entirely in words; linguistics come naturally and flow freely from your pen just as well as your tongue. But my writing is often very convoluted; I go off on tangents a lot (brackets and ellipses are very common) and I rarely write things in chronological order; that is, the order in which they come out in the end. I have to edit my work heavily, cutting and pasting, rearranging words and phrases (it's easier on a computer, but on my high school English essays often a third of every page would be scribbled out). Likewise, my speech has always been awkward and probably always will be. (Too bad; it means I'm not that smooth with the ladies.)

As you can guess, I didn't write a lot of stories as a kid. It just wasn't my thing. My sister, on the other hand, would crank out pages and pages of them (and still does), but I never had the patience for that. So what was my outlet? I filled my pages with drawings, of course. I told my stories through cartoons, through caricatures of the people in my life. I drew a lot of letters and numbers, too... their visual forms always fascinated me more than their implicit meanings, and they still do.

Sometimes you can only express yourself through abstraction. A writer, I imagine, loves to just mess around with words, play ideas off each other for their own sake. I know mathematicians can lose themselves in pure numbers and find joy simply in their manipulation. Personally, I've never had a problem grokking the logic behind mathematics, but it still takes me a second or two to perform the simplest arithmetic. I just don't have the instinct, I guess. So I work out my daemons through pictures. I map out math problems with diagrams. And it carries over into my artwork, which is often very geometric in structure, even when I'm just scribbling randomly.

My abstractions are designs on paper. My doodles zig-zag across whole pages if I'm bored enough. The margins of those accursed English essays were always more full than the lines themselves. But the same was true when I was writing my journal in grade one. Even before I was in school, when I was filling pages with letters and numbers. It took me a long time to realise this, but I'm glad I finally did. There's a use for every fascination, every different mode of thinking, and a niche for every artist to fill, whether a playwright, a DJ, a vandal, a composer of spamkus (ok, that's stretching it). Maybe now, after years of not knowing what to do with myself, I'm headed in a good direction. Judging from this rambling mess of a node, I'd probably go broke as a journalist.

OK, I'm exhausted. This node has taken me probably two hours to write. Back to lurking for me.

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