Hello, my wayward friends.
In my previous post, I linked a very insightful blog. I’ve enjoyed reading the author’s posts on many occasions, but couldn’t help but find myself thinking about his most recent series of comments.
To a certain extent, I agree with the notion that a writer must sacrifice his or her own life for writing. We writers are not social butterflies, we are creatures of shadow that cling to the walls and spy upon non-writers, preying upon their hopes and fears as kindle for the flame that drives our art. We wraiths float through the world, virtually unknown, wreaking our work in secret until someone, somewhere, lends an eye and an ear to what our hearts mandate we say.
Yet this is a fate we accept. Solitude and silence in exchange for passion. We sacrifice the world we live in to create our own. In empty rooms, where the fate of civilization is decided at the ghost-typing hands of a single individual, the writer creates life.
As Edgar Allen Poe once said, “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” Isn’t that what every writer strives for? To express the machinations of their minds with such precision such distinction, that those whom we have never met can find our world as real as we do?
This is why Mark Twain is cited as a great writer- his characters were so real that, in reading, we find ourselves breathing the same air as Huck Finn. Similarly, H. P. Lovecraft crafted his mythos with such realistic exactitude that he reportedly spent some time reminding his readers that the gods he spoke of were not real. To this day, his fiction is so life-like, so real, that his work (and a vast array of Cthulhu-themed merchandise) is sold by the truckload each year.
Do I disagree with the notion that one must write OR live? No, of course not. I’ve spent many a day typing while my peers watched movies or played games.
But, in writing, have I lived more intensely and fully than they? I dare to say that I have.