Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor. Authors across time have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?
The thing is, I was never a writer. In many ways, I still don’t think that I am. Neither am I crazy; like I thought I was when this all started.
Let me explain.
Originally, I wrote to get the incessant thoughts and visions out of my head. The same dream just kept repeating, every time I slept. I hoped that if I wrote it down, it would go away and leave me in peace. As I did that, rather than stop the thoughts (although it did remove the first), it just made room for more. I soon realised that I was stuck with the ability to see stories. As time went by I started to see them when I was awake, like an overlay on my life.
I can only compare it to watching a movie (that you’ve never seen before and know nothing about) in your mind. To help me get it all down, I can rewind and slow the action, sometimes I might see a certain part from a different point of view. One thing I can NEVER do is fast forward to see what happens next. I have to experience it in real-time, which also makes it a bit like living.
I’ve had to learn to accept that the only way to get any peace is to describe what was happening in words, write what I see down exactly as I see it. Never knowing what was about to occur.
Typing with eyes on the keyboard whilst watching a film in your head means that you don’t really get a sense of what you’ve written until you stop for a break and look up.
At that point, I used to be surprised by what I had typed (with two fingers, one from each hand), how it was so faithful to the vision, how in some places it was more than I had seen.
After so long, I’m more used to it now. Because I never know what my characters will do next, I experience the story in the same way that a reader will. I get the twist, the denouement, at the same time as they do. If you’ve read the books, you’ll know that some of them are pretty mind-blowing. I got the same sense of shock seeing and writing it as I hope you will when you read it.
This also explains why I write in different genres. Why I don’t write a single series. Instead, I flit from story to story. When people ask me why I can’t stick to one thing, I respond by reminding them that I don’t actually write, apart from the physical act of typing. I merely copy what I’m shown. I have as little control over the things I see as it’s possible to have.
I’m just the conduit that transfers them from wherever they originate to the document stored on my hard drive. So, if whoever is passing me the source material today wants to show me Sci-fi, I’ll write that. If it’s Steampunk or Andorra Pett or the fantasy world of the Syk’m, away we go. Show me the pictures and I’ll write them down. I’ll put my name on it but that’s simply because I don’t know who else to credit.
One day, I’m sure that it will all stop.
Until then, I’m just along for the ride.
For more about why I was never a writer, see this post.
Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.
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