Yesterday I was walking and couldn’t stop thinking about how much I dislike formatting. Yeah, MLA, APA, all of those triple letter format styles, I don’t like any of them. Must have an intro, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. What if it’s not the end? What if I don’t want to conclude? (Even though I is usually end with some form of a conclusion…) Perhaps it’s the reason why I loved the songs The Weeknd produced in his earlier days so much. They’re long, they’re rule breaking, and he shows real emotion and thought in them. It’s not clean cut and polished. It’s rough around the edges to some, with curse words sprinkled inbetween and drawn out notes that last a life time as you anticipate the next verse.
I know that I also comply to these rules of what proceeds what and how each thing should be written properly in order for it to be universally acceptable, but I can’t help but feel it constrains some people’s creativity. You could have a very passionate writer with many thoughts and insights draw a blank when deciding what to write because the confines are so limiting.
Formatting is unnatural. It’s not human. Sure it’s man made, but it’s not a representation of the variety of how the subconscious pours out thoughts. It doesn’t show the inconsistencies in the pace and the perspectives. Sometimes you second guess yourself, sometimes you show a bit of humanity when your thoughts ebb and flow and each word isn’t a polished piece of perfection. There are tangents erased that could have shown you a bit about the writer’s thoughts.
That’s why I like reading poems and stories, or stream-of-conscious writing. It isn’t written to please the reader, it’s written to get the thoughts out and articulate them before they cease to exist in our fluid memory of the thoughts that run through our minds. When I read it, I can feel the liberation the writer had knowing that the words could finally be on a page to live a new and unencumbered life. This kind of writing gives our subconscious a chance to speak and it’s beautiful.