Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Mystery Of Writing.

Nothing we do is as mysterious as we like to pretend.

I'm paraphrasing, because I can't remember the exact words. But it's close enough to something Amy Espeseth said at a writers' workshop I recently attended. It struck a chord with me because it's something I'd recently been thinking about anyway.

There are a number of writers who seem to play up the apparent spirituality of writing, speaking of muses who won't leave them be, words that seem to have been received from some ethereal place beyond our physical universe. Writers as alchemists, turning the 26 letters on a keyboard into something much more. And I suppose non-writers may see writing that way. "Where do you get your ideas?" is an extremely common question.

Of course I get ideas and inspiration, and I make notes as soon as I can. And if they won't leave my mind, then I push them forward in the queue and start work on them.

Dean Wesley Smith offers a different approach. They're just ideas, just words, and he has hundreds of them. No pataphysical explanations, just a mind at work. I guess this is how I see it as well. When I don't have enough ideas for a particuler story, I make them. I create them. Over the past few years I've learned some exercises that help me do this.

But there are those times when I'm writing, when I'm in the 'zone' and the words just seem to pour out, and I wonder. Maybe, just maybe there is a muse watching out for me.

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