Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

May 8, 2006

Unwritten

(I apologize for the pop-ups on the link, consider yourself warned.)

It's not often that I find myself liking a song (especially a "pop" song) for the lyrics, but "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield is simply too personally appropriate to pass up. It may well be the anthem for anyone out there that has ever set pen to paper for any reason.

Marion Zimmer Bradley remarked that she had a hard time getting respect when she declared her occupation as "writer". Why? Because "every literate person writes". I have met few literate people--using the word to mean not that they can read, but that they DO read--that don't at the very least have a book idea that they'd like to write "someday".

A friend of mine summed up this phenomenon adroitly. You can't just have input. Healthy, sane people cannot tolerate living their lives as a sponge soaking up input: at some point they reach "critical mass" and they have to take what they've learned, thought, or realized and turn it into some sort of output. I read like an alcoholic drinks. I think if I didn't write I might very well explode from the unrelieved pressure.

My only problem is working on the quality of my writing so that I don't have to endure winces when I invariably inflict my efforts on other people.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The magician awoke with a jerk"

One reason not to drink too much,.

Jennifer Snow said...

*snort* I really ought to write these things over the weekend when I'm not so tired.

Of course, you're the one that put the comment on the wrong post.

:)

Kev said...

Yes, I guess many people do get to that point where they need to express all that accumulated experience. I guess in fiction in particular, you are producing a narrative, and part of the driving process of that expression is the need to tell a story that helps you make sense out of what you have seen and learnt.

Not necessarily a story directly about those accumlated happenings and insights, or telling 'your' story pe se, but something that taps into a deeper sense of yourself, the figures of subconcious self that have been forged and evolved through thousands of experiences and emotions and ups and downs.

Of course, while many people can, want to and sometimes attempt to express through writing not everyone realises the sort of journey this is and that it takes a certain amount of bravery for an individual to take it, and get to know themselves through a body of writing, and even more courage to expose that journey to others. As far as I am concerned writers are heros whose most difficult hours are never seen or understood by those who just read another's work. Reading is easy, being literate in the sense of using language is not that hard with practice, but choosing to be generous to other people through using language and narrative with the fruits of your self is never easy, even for experienced writers considered masters of their craft