When I write, I struggle to locate myself within a concept of self. If identity is dependent on understanding one’s relationality to all that is around, and writing is dependent on the ego, then must the act of writing assume a defined identity? As I write more, I feel a more concrete definition approaching… a better word might be concept. The concept of self avoids the immutableness implied by definition. It’s fluid, and therefore changeable.
What does the fluid concept of self, of ego, have to do with writing? I’m not entirely sure, but if the writer must solidify the momentary definition in order to create something, in order to become Plato’s conduit, then it must hold some importance. Location of self in the vastness of the universe is something many people rely on a religion to do for them. How can the minute and limited human brain do this on its own? The result could easily be overwhelming insecurity and insignificance, and the subconscious choice to limit perception to the immediate environment must be a reaction of protectionism. The choice to write, to perform a most ego-centered act, requires the writer to locate the self in the vastness. Which is overwhelming and scary.
The intention must be there, then, to make that choice, to solidify that location-of-self. I have written before about the feeling writers get of the “need to write.” I am beginning to think it comes from the fear that if they did not write, they would find themselves dangerously dis-located from self and a connection with the universe. The intention, however suppressed or subconscious, makes itself known by the act of creation. Every time a writer puts pen to page or fingers to keyboard, a choice is made, an intention made clear, a relational position to the universe found, and a new self conceptualized.
I’m interested in what others have to say about this… share in the comments!