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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Writer's Mind

A writer’s mind

Is this the mind of a writer? That every experience I have, good or bad, I immediately think of it as if I’m writing it down. Just now I was sitting out here enjoying the wind on my skin, the sound of the chimes, the leaves rustling – even trying to pinpoint the different sounds each type of leaf makes when it dances with the wind. And I was looking at the mountains and marveling at their solidarity, their permanence. I found some comfort in knowing how dwarfed and insignificant I seem in comparison. How temporary. But that’s ok, because I can sit and contemplate that. I find joy in knowing I can do that. But all the while as these sensory experiences and thoughts are flitting in and out of my mind, I am trying to confine them to words. That is what we do, I think, as writers. We try to take these living, breathing, organic experiences of life and capture their essence in little blots of ink. To be able to do that well is glorious, and while I certainly do not always do that well, I think I have my moments. It’s those moments that give me hope. For I’ll never not write. It is in me. I am constantly narrating my own life. I always have. I remember as a little girl I would look at the cottage cheese ceiling in my room, and instead of finding the man on the moon or the dog or the elephant, I would find words. It’s a silly thing, really, but rather telling, don’t you think? Words, such power they have.
I once saw the movie “Gosssip” with my brother. A movie about the power of words. Words shape our perceptions, thoughts, ideas. They challenge us. They create worlds, or rather we create worlds when we use them. It’s so challenging to write. The difference between thinking, talking and writing is that the process of writing forces you to take these abstract symbols and concepts and structure them. I can have brilliant ideas, I may even be able to give voice to them, but can I bring it to the page and maintain the integrity of the thought? That’s the greatest challenge.

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