The mystery in me
From the outside writing seems like a relatively simple and straightforward task. Think about something, marshal those thoughts and capture them with words. I believe any writer will tell you it's more than that.
In my experience, the words are the final step. I write them and delete them and change them to match some inner cadence, which ultimately satisfies myself and seems to be pleasing to others. That's good, but something else needs to happen first.
I need to hear an inner voice, some mysterious inner me who wants to speak in its/his own voice.
That became clear to me recently in my latest responses to a series of writers' prompts on another site -- 500 words each week on a specific topic. In my response to one I placed myself into the scene and tried to modify myself to make my story sensible. The resulting speaker -- as yet unnamed -- seemed to intrigue a number of people, who wanted to know more about him.
Me too. He came to me from nowhere, but (not trying to sound deluded) seems to be a real personality trying to get onto paper/pixels. I kept that person for the next two prompts and learned more about him each time. My adult daughter, one who loves the character, compared my technique with him to automatic writing. And it sort of is, not a trance but rather falling into the flow, and channeling what I would call an inner archetype.
The closest I can come to a parallel observation is watching a musician when he or she goes beyond the mechanics of the notes and almost vanishes into the music.
I've never done this before, but then I've never made a fulltime commitment to writing. I wonder if this is how other writers feel. And for that matter, how i've managed to miss out on it for so long.
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