As I have begun this journey into becoming an author (I already consider myself a writer because I write) I have learned many things. One of the more interesting things I have learned was not as much about the craft, but about those that live behind the words. The people that go through the day as a writer, struggling to form the perfect sentence or craft intriguing plots or worse still, trying to find their unique voice.
This strange breed of creature lurks behind keyboards in dimly lit rooms or cafes, glaring at the smiling, laughing creatures that gleefully sip their lattes and know not the struggles of translating worlds in your head into coherent words on paper. These other creatures laugh amongst their compatriots and call them strange words like “friend” and “buddy.” They walk into the sunlight without a pen or paper to jot down a fleeting idea before it disappears into the wind. They casually touch others of their kind, feeling the warmth of flesh beneath their delicate fingers. The others drink their coffee-drinks for status and because everyone else does, and not for the life-giving fuel that a writer knows it is.
These people smile and nod at the coffee server because that is what people do. They give in to the fantasy of their life that they are in control of what they do and when they do it. Yet, does this other creature really know the companions they call friends? They meet for lunch and wine, exchange pleasantries about family and work, then go about their own lives without another thought of those that occupied their space mere moments before.
The writer sees the plots and intrigue, the hooks and climaxes of daily interaction. The writer wonders why the fidgeting man in a tattered, yet expensive suit habitually checks his watch and nods at the designated times while talking to his others. The writer wonders just who or what this fellow is waiting for. The writer sees the conspiracy behind the man; the government agency he wasted years of his life serving, now to be fearful of their peering eyes. The writer sees all of this and more. The writer remembers and therefore knows more than the man’s “friends.”
Is reality better for the writer or for the strange creature who wonders not why the homeless man behind the gas station prostrates himself before the gods at noon everyday for exactly 10 minutes. Is reality better suited to simply accept the actions of the derelict and move about the day with no more thought, or is better to be fearful of the ancient gods the man succumbed to over three hundreds years before and now must lay facing their wrath 10 minutes a day?
Writers wonder. We wonder the whys of life. We wonder about almost everything we see. Sure many writers may remain isolated behind locked doors slaving away at their literary masterpiece, yet many writers walk among the others. Staring at them. Wondering about them. Crafting stories they could never fulfill.