You, the writer (Part 2)-A A +A
Saturday, October 26, 2013
WE SPOKE of your transformation, that creative urge within you which brings both the birth and death of thoughts and words, the mingling of all that is past, present and future within your text, the told stories of everyone you have ever met allowing you to live more than one life.
You write from your desire to bring magic into your world, that act of weaving together old things into a new form which will make some sense out of the chaos, some understanding out of the confusion that necessarily attends each life.
The creative mind gives birth to that which has never been seen before, even as we know that creativity is not about drawing something out of thin air.
“Text” in the contemporary sense refers to words and concepts that we encounter daily, from surprise conversations with friends, from the television, radio, internet, magazines, and but yes, books.
There is the notion of intertextuality which posits that every “text” is related to and evokes other texts, that one text is enmeshed in others.
To compose a story or essay is not to invent something out of nothing but to produce a new text out of a complex and interwoven fabric of other texts already “written into” the writer’s life.
That which is born somehow resonates with a certain order, as with the beating of the heart of a newborn.
Pollock’s art seems chaotic at first glance, but if you look at it long enough, you come to see after a while, an internal “order” to the lines and colors.
It does not necessarily form a distinct picture, but it draws the human mind.
The same thing happens with literary pieces.
The writer aspect of you is a magician.
That which you create anew with the old things are actually threads that allow you to reach out and beyond yourself.
Alone in your writing, you use words so you can belong to this world.
Writing is the author’s expression of private and personal meanings that speak to a great many others whose thoughts and actions may be transformed by the words on the page.
In the words of essayist Michel de Montaigne: “Every man has within himself the entire human condition.”
Fictionist Jose Dalisay speaks of empathy as probably the most important characteristic of a writer.
A writer needs to be able to go beyond the self to understand why people do the things that they do.
The secret of a good character in good fiction is the working out of the motivation through plot, description and dialogue.
Beyond knowing the exact reasons why people act and respond to situations the way they do, much more is often revealed from that which is not fully known.
A writer can only reveal the hidden beauty of the world by imagining the worlds within the minds of others, by first imagining his/her inner world.
To have the courage to stand up and out of the page, the writer must therefore learn the intricacies of self-acceptance.
This also happens to be the key to empathy, which is the key to any writer’s capability.
Paradoxically, it is the act of writing itself that allows the writer to navigate the tricky path to self-knowledge and acceptance.
This knowledge, by the way, is not a goal, but a never-ending process that is the source of both the suffering and the joy experienced by the writer.
When you finally decide to write, you will suffer from knowing that you do not really know anything – not your world, not yourself, not anyone.
There is joy in this because it sets you free to just be, allowing others to reveal themselves, and letting life unfold, always incompletely.
There is no end to this magic.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 26, 2013.