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Brain vs Fingers… Come on Fingers!

Hitting your head against a wall is pretty much a common occurrence when writing. Or at least it is for me.

Over the weekend I’ve been writing one of the editorial pieces for the first issue of The Circuit. It starts great and goes strong for about 600 words then it just… So I’m stuck at an impasse where I know where I want the piece to go but struggling with the tone of the closing paragraphs. It was all in my head but by the time my typing caught up…

I find when I’m writing this is my biggest bugbear. My mind is in one gear, flying along, churning out dialogue while my poor fingers struggle to keep up. By the time my fingers paw their way to the end of a sentence my mind is already paragraphs ahead, a distance that becomes insurmountable as the words fade before they hit the page.

I often work around this by keeping what you could almost call a back up memory. A corner of my mind that stays on a loop and holds the concepts of what I’m writing in check while my fingers plod along at a far more pedestrian pace. I would say this works for me four times out of five. Unfortunately the piece I recently started writing was a number five. The one where my envisaged content fades as my fingers drop to the keys and I’m left frustrated and dissatisfied with the limitations of the written word and the speed with which it frees itself from my mind.

Of course it’s not just working on the magazine where the limitations placed on the written word frustrates me. We now live in a world where short bursts of communication via text, email and facebook are replacing conversation with its tonalities, nuances and inflections. The written word has enormous potential but try squeezing that potential into a 160 character tweet or a text message and its limitations become abundantly clear. Littering conversations with emoticons to convey underlying emotion is now such a common action it’s all I can do to keep them out of my blog and magazine writing. Indeed how long till you see an interview with an athlete or a news piece that is closed with a 😦 or :)?

Are we training ourselves out of writing emotively through our sound bite culture? To me it seems like this might be the case and it saddens me greatly.

I’m trying to convey an emotion, a longing, a driving passion for climbing in the piece I’m writing for the magazine at the moment but the words have escaped me… Running down the hallways of my mind they are nestled in the dark corners, taunting, whispering, just out of grasp. But I will get them. If not today then tomorrow or the day after! I will wrestle my subconscious into submission and do everything in my power not to finish the article with a 🙂

So what’s coming up for the magazine this week? Well I’ve now completed two of the four main editorial pieces and the third is 90% written (the piece described above). This weekend I’ll be heading out to the Grampians again, this time in the company of Australian World Cup boulderer James Kassay, his girlfriend Claire and her sister Amy.

James Kassay rainy day bouldering at the Kindergarten. The Grampians

Claire Langmore on the classic sandbag Palm Beach V4-7

Amy Langmore on Y2K extended at the Trenches in Sydney

Hopefully we can catch the Team America crew as I’m looking to complete at least a couple of interviews after last weekend’s rain out had me ducking back to Melbourne to wring myself out.

Brownie and Hot Chocolate at Mt Zero Olives.. The best rain day option

Brownie and Hot Chocolate at Mt Zero Olives.. The best rain day option

So lots more photos after the weekend to make up for the dearth of photographs from the weekend.
I’ve also locked in the page count and content list for the first issue which is starting to look great. Seeing how much there is still to do is like standing at the base of a mountain but when I look at how much content is completed already I know we are well on track.

Last weekend on the way to the Grampians modern technology came to my aid and I was able to watch our European correspondent Natalie’s first comp climb back from the carpark of a supermarket in the middle of nowhere basically (a wee town called Ararat, search it on google maps if you’re curious). Nat climbed great before running out of steam high on the climb. This weekend we’ll be watching again from the warmth of the Log Cabins at Mt Zero in the Grampians and again we are wishing her the best of luck!

Watching the European Champs from the comfort of my car on the other side of the world.

Watching the European Champs from the comfort of my car on the other side of the world.

This weekend’s World Cup in Briançon will also be the scene of Climbers Against Cancer’s second major donation in the fight against cancer so tune in to watch CAC founder and all round inspiration John Ellison handing over the huge novelty check right before the Men’s finals.
The World Cup will be streamed live at http://www.ifsc-climbing.org/ 🙂

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