The Many Secret Lives of Writers
Every writer of every genre, whether they realize or not, have experienced this. We’ve all lived many lives, in different times, places and universes. We’ve seen things that we have to express through our writing. No, I’m not talking about past-lives. I’m talking about the stories we all create in our minds. Each of those stories is a life, unto itself.
Each and every character we create, while not truly being us, carries some part of us within them. Even the villains in the stories have some piece of ourselves inside of them. The writer creates the characters either from some facet of their own personality or from experience with others. But to truly breathe life into those characters, they have to have that spark within them that makes them more than mere words. That spark comes from within the writer. It’s a piece of them, making every character they create part of them, as well.
Each story we tell, each place we create, each situation, and each scene….are all drawn from visions within the writer. They are pieces of us, our experiences and our personality. They come from the mind of the writer and are drawn from the things we’ve experienced, learned and studied. Each one of them, a different life within the writer. We are creatures of our visions and the stories that come from them. Sometimes I feel that I don’t really write the stories. I merely write down the visions I see in my mind. As if I can steal glimpses into other lives and universes.
Creativity is an amazing thing, but it can be as much a curse as it is a blessing. How many writers through the years have suffered what they referred to as “melancholies” or struggled with depression? Hemingway committed suicide. Poe struggled with addiction to what was called Laudanum, which was nothing but an opium derivative. So many others struggled with alcoholism or addiction. It’s almost as if the visions they saw drove them to a darker place.
I am fortunate that my visions have always inspired me to continue writing, to tell my stories. Those visions can be dark, at times, and I can understand why some have struggled with them. Creativity can inspire us or drive us into darkness. Finding your focus and channeling that creativity is essential to writers. It fuels us and drives us to tell our stories, to paint, to sing or whatever that creative focus is. You need to create and release it or it will only haunt you. Focus your creativity and let in inspire you.
I think, and this is just personal theory based on nothing but my own thoughts, that writers like Poe saw visions that they were either unable to express or simply didn’t know how and it drove them to find ways to cope with it. Writers of horror sometimes write scenes that shake them up. I know several friends who write horror who have experienced this. Sometimes, a scene is so horrific in your mind that it leaves an impression upon you that’s difficult to shake.
Poetry is a deeply emotional expression of writing. I feel that poets are, for the most part, trying to express feelings that are almost intangible. Some poets enjoy writing things not quite as serious, but that’s a different subject. The poets who are trying to express the deepest of emotions, pour their heart and soul into those words and you can feel that when you read it. The imagery it conveys is exquisite. Poets can express deep beauty or deep sorrow, but they had to feel that in order to express it in words. What visions drive those deeply dark emotions? Only the poet can tell you.
Song lyrics are very much like poetry. Well, some are. Some are just nonsense. I think you all know the types of songs I’m talking about. But others, they’re full of raw emotion and paint vivid images of happiness…and conversely, of sorrow. The words they chose and the emotion they bring forth is powerful and can give you a glimpse into the writer’s soul. Sometimes it’s beautiful, and others…well, the others can be terrifying.
The point I am trying to make is that the writer experiences every word, sentence and paragraph as part of themselves. The characters are all pieces of them, as well. Every song, poem and piece of prose is a way for us to see into the mind of the writer. To share their vision. The creativity that fuels us can also haunt us. Every book, story or tale is taken from the mind of the writer. It’s a vision that you share, but they lived it in their mind. It’s part of them, to revisit whenever they choose and sometimes even when they don’t. Like a memory of a life that wasn’t really their own.
So, appreciate your favorite authors, poets, musicians, storytellers and artists. Each vision they create is part of them forever, the good and the bad. Share with them how you feel about their work. You can do that by leaving reviews for their work or, in this age of social media, you can send them a message directly. Let them know that you appreciated their stories. For those who struggle with their creativity, it just might be the boost they need to keep creating and sharing those visions. Have you hugged your favorite writer today? Not literally, of course.
I’m happy that I have come to an agreement with my stories. I tell them, then I move on to the next one. I am content with the arrangements that I have with the characters I’ve created. They are a part of me and keep me busy telling their exploits. It’s a great arrangement. I love to write and hope that I always do. It’s part of me. If I wasn’t focusing my creativity, I don’t know how I would feel but I doubt I would be happy.
Telling stories is part of who I am and I won’t be content unless I’m doing just that. I hope that you all enjoy the stories, because having readers that enjoy my writing does inspire me to keep going. Thank you for all of your kind words and reviews. I enjoy each of them and love talking to all of you about the stories that we’ve shared. I love hearing how you see the story and hear how it affected you. It’s the greatest part of being a writer. Thank you all, again. You are the best. Keep sharing our visions.
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