26.6.13

The Curse of the Writer?

The beginning of this week has been even less productive than I had imagined. There's been a lot of high-emotion stuff going on, as well as lot of sightseeing and general running around with family in town, all of which has distracted from my goals. Still, I find that I cannot separate my writing self from the rest of me.

Sometimes I wonder, if the world were ending, would I stand back just to take a writerly glimpse of the scene and try to figure out how to write it? Would I see fire raining down from heaven and try to come up with the exact word to use so that it doesn't seem overwritten, but so that terror shivers down the reader's spine? Or so the reader can see the exact hue of the flames and the exact shape of brimstone?

Is not being able to separate the writer from the person the curse of the writer?

I don't have an answer for this question. I know that embracing my writing and learning more about writing has led me to constantly see the world from a writer's perspective. If I stopped writing, would that disappear? Probably. Over time. Do I want it to disappear? Not really.

In some ways, I find that being a writer helps me protect myself. I can witness the world from a distance without getting personally involved. It's like being a cameraman or a photographer, and, although I'm in the middle of a gritty scene--by all rights, a part of it--I'm really distanced from it through a lens. But in a writer's case, the lens is purely figurative. 

~I.E.