About Writing

WindowsSome call writing a gift. It is a curse. We all see the world individually. For the writer, the world within our minds is a hall of windows. We all see so many different worlds. What’s even worse; we are driven by the solitary need to share the view out our windows with the rest of the world.

Perhaps it is that we see an aching beauty that hurts to keep to ourselves. Perhaps it is that we are so scared by what we see, we don’t want to see it alone. It could just be that we are vain and pretentious and need to share our vision with everyone else. Whatever the motivation, writers don’t have to write, we need to write.

Ask any author worth her salt if she would write even if she never got published. She will probably tell you the truth; there are millions, possibly billions, of writers out there that never even try and probably have written more novels than any published, famous author. Who knows what genius sits in a box on a shelf, within a computer file, or discarded in a landfill! What worlds could be hidden in some old diary no one will ever see again?

The shuddering truth is that writers dream awake. We desire to pull you to our window and show you our world. Writing is euphoric, glorious. Not to be trite, but there is a joy in writing that cannot be found anywhere else. It is also very fleeting. That view in the window goes distant sometimes. Sometimes it feels more like some majestic animal standing briefly at that window. While you prime your camera, try to focus the lens, get the perfect shot, the animal bounds away and you are left, poised and ready, far too late to capture the glory that once stood still before your eyes. The sense of loss is far more profound than the joy of vision had been, far more lingering, and happens far more often than that perfect picture.

Some writers become an allegorical Ahab, forgetting all else but that single moment of time that got away. Sometimes, a writer forgets that the world on the other side of the window is illusionary and leaps into that world. I believe that Huxley was one such, yet the results were pure genius, though at what personal cost? Writing is a drug that is as intoxicating as it is addictive. We become addicted to seeing those pretty lights, or to those nightmares. That is the curse of the true writer; we are at our windows, and we are always worried that the moment will escape before the subject is captured.

For me, writing is as if trying to describe the memory of a dream before it drifts from my hands forever. Perhaps that is why I refer to my writing as my ‘vivid dreams’.

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