Monday, September 5, 2016

Oh, You're a Writer/Author

I was chatting with an author friend the other morning. We were talking about our families and friends, and acquaintances, how easily a writer/author can be dismissed for people who have more interesting careers, like auto mechanic, woodworker, insurance salesman, public defender. Hardly anyone but another writer wants to sit around and talk about writing. We were wondering why this was and came to the conclusion that writing is a rather unfathomable process to a non-writer. There is an internal engine that generates stories, churning these stories through a writer's thought processes. There is a physical process of transferring these stories from the brain to the method of expression- be it a handwritten page, a typed page, a computer word processor page. This is all done in a usually solitary manner, unless it is a collaborative effort.

For the most part human beings are social animals. They find writers who seclude themselves to write and may not communicate with family and friends for days or weeks on end, a highly peculiar and suspect breed of creature.

When a writer sits around with family and friends they are more apt to sit there listening because writer's are good listeners. They listen to the rhythm of speech, the words used, how a story is orally related. They listen for the natural pauses, the unnatural pauses. This is all material for future use, perhaps. Names and places may be changed but what goes into the ear flows into the brain where it sits in a vast storage facility called Memory. A writer can wander into Memory at any time to pick and choose choice little bits and pieces to weave into the fabric of a story.

This is what people who don't write cannot understand. There is no parts bin, no shelf in the store you can pick something off of to use in an artistic endeavor. Everything a writer does is generated within the brain- and yes, the brain can be a scary place! It's under utilized by everyone in the world. But some of us were born with the ability to navigate it's twists and turns, tap into it's gray matter where vocabulary and grammar can be plucked like flowers and arranged to create verbal images.

There are some people who can simply enjoy the product a writer produces. Then there are some people who need to disparage writers, scoff at them, say, "Oh, that's not so hard, writing a book! Anyone can write a book!" So, why aren't you writing a book? It's easy, right?


Sometimes you just need to connect with another writer and vent a little before going back to the computer and getting back to work.

Yes, W-O-R-K.

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