Someone once told me writers are lonely, solitary creatures standing on the periphery of society, forbidden to participate and forced to observe for the sole purpose of recording. I don’t think there is a better explanation of what we do, other than the one about caffeine.
Writer: a peculiar organism of capable of transforming caffeine into books.
Yeah, that one. Seriously though, writers are watchers of the world around them.
Orhan Pamuk quotes it best: a writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside of him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or a literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward; amid it’s shadows, he builds a new world with words.
We have been accused of possessing overactive imaginations, wasting our time with daydreaming, of having our heads in the clouds, dreamers and all other sorts of equally untrue and unkind statements. Yes, we do imagine, yes, we do dream, yes, we do appear to have our heads in the clouds. But, we notice everything around us. Our minds are vicious steel traps snapping shut with terrifyingly tremendous force, preventing whatever we have witnessed from escaping. We ask that intriguing question, what if. We concoct, scheme, plot, and dream up conflicts, tensions and obstacles for our characters to endure and overcome. You might say, that’s horrible! You’re torturing the poor creature!
Yes, yes we do. But we are just as tortured, for we are the ones who see the potential within and are now condemned to bring it out at all costs. In the process, we will face countless sleepless nights, caffeine induced days and alcohol laden evenings until the beginnings of the potential starts to materialize. We lose all sight of the world around us as we dig in even deeper, compelling the words to form to the image in our mind. Only when it is broken and submitted to our will do we emerge from our self-induced solitude bearing the first of many delightful creations the world calls books. Only then do we feel the warmth of inclusion and love, until the euphoria wears off and we are once again retreating behind the walls of our minds to begin the process all over.
This is writing…