Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I am not a normal writer that would be a contradiction in terms. By definition writers are hardly normal. They dream up stories that never existed before, and populate them with people and scenario’s that are imaginary.

There is nothing wrong with this noble occupation, people have been following it since the invention of the chisel, and their efforts have prevented an unimaginable number of pratfalls from taking place. Without the writer to chart the uneven terrain of love, the dastardly realm of politics, or even the contradictory subatomic shenanigans of quantum physics, existence would be pure chaos.

For the writer of course, existence is pure chaos, and its measurement is in what one has to sacrifice. The life of a writer is solitary; it is solitary because one has to think. It isn’t really necessary to come to conclusions, in fact conclusions are to be avoided at all costs, because they paint one into a corner and corners are best left vacated until the final throes of ones final edit.

Keeping the story moving, adding twists and turns, and not being long winded are all excellent nuggets of advice for the writer trying to mine rich veins of adventure, comedy, or angst. The fact that they are all diametrically opposed to one another brings the errant writer to an almost Zen-like crossroads that he has to learn to transcend with the wily non-doing of a Taoist adept bent on immortality.

But wait a minute; this non-doing of which you speak is what writer’s have been waging war against since the dawn of time. It’s the blank page one stares at, the canvas un-painted, the word un-spelled, the story un-formed. It is the bane of every writer’s existence; it is the very thing that drives us up the wall. It is the most contemptible facet of an occupation that is otherwise the most pleasing of all artistic careers . . .isn’t it?

No! All of those things are doing, and they are indeed the friction that brings creativity to a halt. Non-doing does not only apply to writing, it applies to life itself. It is the cornerstone of a spiritual existence, it is the flexibility that water exhibits, it is not thinking oneself into a corner, and it is not taking oneself too seriously.

Why are you immune from all the pitfalls of being a writer? I hear you wonder, along with a string of curses and vicious invective that is better left unsaid. The truth is I’m not. I continue to fall into all the traps that bedevil you, and many, many more of my own invention. This is probably the reason I refuse to think of myself as a normal writer anymore, because as a normal writer I was at war with the blank page, and the best thing I ever learned to do, was to make peace with it.