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Know Jack #335 The Strange Truth About Writers

“Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Like the Facebook meme, writers really do have voices in their heads that have good ideas. Some of the voices sound very familiar—almost just like the writer’s own voice—but new ones crop up all the time. Hearing one of those voices inviting you to step through a secret portal into The Zone where writing flows on a current so swift it carries you away, is a kind of writer’s Nirvana.

Unlike most real people living outside of locked facilities, writers live in multiple worlds as multiple people. And, they keep coming up with new worlds and new people all the time as comfortable identities grow stale.

This fractured personality can frustrate others. They may be trying to make dinner plans while their writer is thinking about (or has just gone off to) a café where the food transforms the diners into chimera-like beings.

Writers, while not writing, are usually listening to one of their other parts whispering a great storyline, or a new scene idea.

Many professionals describe what they do as their practice. I used to practice nursing. There was always something new to bushwhack you if you got complacent or were silly enough to boast aloud that you had seen it all.

Writing is like that. You practice and practice grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills but the real test is entering into an alternate time and space, donning a new persona, and convincing others it was real.

Jumping back to the present world again when dinner’s ready takes practice too. A writer learns to manage a somewhat stable consensus of everyone in his head. Convincing antagonists is the worst. They’re rebellious on their best days.

I’d like to say more, but I’m off to Louisiana. Okay, Landry. I’m on my way just chill.


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