Joan Didion writes because she’s simply a writer. She’s a person who spends most of her time absorbed in arranging words on pieces of paper. I’m not entirely surprisd she expresses herself about writing this way because I am somewhat the same. I’ve mentioned this before, I can’t keep my hands still. When I can’t keep my hands still and my imagination is all a flutter, I write. A lot.
She’s not an abstract thinker and to be a writer you don’t really have to be. I have a similar writing process as Joan. I have pictures and those pictures tell me things and that’s what I write. Her examples in the end at the aiport aren’t really abstract thoughts and pictures like that sometimes just come to writers. I’ve had it happen to myself before too.
I agree with her statement that writing is a slefish act. Her point about it being a way for people to see things the writer’s way is very valid and true. I think writing is selfish but for a different reason. I write to satsify my imagination to make my mind at ease. There are times when my mind is too clouded with many thoughts of different things at once and writing helps me sort things out. It helps put me at ease and to sort through what’s important and what’s not. I have a very big imagination and writing also helps me settle it. All these ‘what ifs’ and ‘what would happen if’ can distract my mind for hours. Writing them down satisfies my curiosity as I let these images just flow free and arrange themselves on paper.
The structure of this essay is pretty free form. It doesn’t have a set designated structure like most essays I’ve read.
“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want to what I fear. “
That’s an example of the inner mind process. It’s almost like bursts of thought. She uses rhetorical questions later on in those same lines to further express why she writes. It’s a fluid stream of concious thought. These styles make for very personal essays as they give insight into the author and give it a personal touch that most essays stray away from.