Please note: the opinions expressed here are based on my perspective—that doesn’t make it right or wrong, it’s simply my point of view. I’d love for you to share yours.
What makes a person a writer?
The simple answer is, they write. If you put pen to paper—or fingers to keyboard (or voice to recorder, as the case may be)—you’re a writer.
The more complicated answer is that a writer is a person who has a love affair with language. They’re wooed by manipulating words; by painting word pictures. They can’t help expressing themselves—words flow down their arm through their fingertips, unchecked. They write regardless of who may, or may not, read their words.
Why do writers write?
Writer’s write because they can’t help themselves. It’s a compulsion; an automatic reflex like breathing, and equally essential.
My friend Susan said, “I write because it sucked me into my own personal matrix and I’m still looking for the exit!”
What’s the difference between a writer and an author?
A writer is a person whose written work is yet unpublished. An author is a person whose written work is published.
Do you have a love affair with the written word?
“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”
—Cyril Connolly, English intellectual, literary critic, and writer
I am also quite passionate about the wtitten word.It gives a kind of wonderful release to the writer and the reader feels an energy arising within him or her self.
The quill and the headgear match and add to the charm of this piece!!
Roamer – I appreciate your observation that writing “…gives a kind of wonderful release to the writer…” yes, that’s it!
Hi, Laurie — I live for words on paper (or at least on a computer screen!). I would have to say that words are my first best friend. They teach me about others, about myself. They provide wisdom and comfort when there is not another soul to be found. They recount history and predict the future. They are a vehicle to bring people to me and take me to others. Words are a place to connect our minds when our voice cannot be heard. You write pretty words filled with inspiration and I very much enjoy reading you.
Barbara – It sounds ridiculous for me to say, “I knew you were going to say that,” but it’s true. I know you’re passionate about words. As a subscriber to your blog, Eternal Presence, I’m on the receiving end of your beautifully wordsmithed posts that provide a continuous stream of delicious food for thought.
Write on sister!
I am so mesmorized to be in such company!
Kim – Your comment made me smile, thank you.
I can identify with all that you and Roamer and Barbara say (and of course I have my own take and expression on it 😉 ).
I just spent about a minute in a sort of stasis, trying to choose where to start.
So often it is like that with me, whether writing a blog like this, or a computer program, or some piece of legislation, or whatever – there will be a range of possible levels and starting places, each with its costs and benefits, advantages and dangers – and sometimes my head hurts from trying to find an “optimal” place to start.
Yet the weird things is, once started, the process takes on almost a life of its own.
It is not longer the conscious me in charge.
The conscious me gets set to one side, allowed to read what comes out, but not to interfere too much in the production and flow (it gets free range later, in post production editing, if it thinks it needs to).
What seems to be at work is the subconscious me, the sum of all my experiences both subjective and objective (internal and in the external “reality” of life), in the holographic context machine that is the human mind.
In a sense, I can fully understand why it is that people say that it is like god is speaking through them, because in a very real sense it is not the conscious egoic self at work, but rather the holographically connected deeper self, with the interwoven shadows of everything it has come in touch with throughout its existence. And at the same time, I am aware that calling it god is such a dis-service in another sense, in the sense that it ascribes something that is essentially and deeply “us” to something else.
It is hard to give any sense of the depth of both individuality (the intensely personal) and the depth of connection to everything else (reality) that I have, and at the same time it seems that it is not necessary to invoke any sort of awareness to explain the complexity – though it is often a convenient shorthand in thinking about it.
On another level entirely, I am driven to write as a means of expression, of gathering together concepts and crafting them into a package that can be easily transmitted from one to another; of creating a suite of tools in my mind to enable me to bridge the gap between what I see as possible at some point in the future, and the reality in front of us right now.
It is both an unconscious drive, and a fully conscious choice – aligned.
So I read, I write, I experience as many aspects of reality as I can fit in within the constraints of the economic and cultural situation I find myself in.
In this community of people around this blog in particular I find a creative mix that keeps me coming back.
Thank you one and all for creating this space that encourages this creativity to flow – a great big thank you to Laurie.
Ted – I love your observation, “…once started, the process takes on almost a life of its own.” I can relate, Relate, RELATE 🙂
I just read, and then re-read, your wonderful comment from just inside the back deck of the library in Encinitas, California. I’m here over the holidays (Dec 16 – Jan 1) visiting with my dad. I’m feeling particularly good in that I just pushed the “save as draft” button for the final post — Z — in the Alphabetically Speaking series.
Another comment observation you shared that particularly grabbed my attention is, “… of creating a suite of tools in my mind to enable me to bridge the gap between what I see as possible at some point in the future, and the reality in front of us right now.” I can see how that is so true for you, particularly in light of your website, Solution Multipliers.
And I fully agree with another of your observations — that there is a wonderful community of creative people who share from their hearts in this blog space. Like you, I’m deeply appreciative of their participation.
Love the quote at the end by Cyril Connelly. I was an adult before I realized I love to read. Then one morning while living in Ireland a story came to mind and I could not stop writing all day. The story was eventually published as a book, so I guess I am an Author.
I did read someplace where a well-known published “author” said he always refers to himself as a “writer.” Interesting…
Ann – I’m so glad you dropped by today, thank you. I’ve placed this LINK here to your book — Little One: End of the Journey Alone — on Amazon.
Thank you Laurie. I am no longer connected with the original publisher of my book and although there are a few of my books, some slightly used as well being sold on Amazon, I get nothing from them.
I do have some copies myself. Anyone who would like to get one from me can contact me through my blog site.
Yes, YES! Raising hand! I have a love affair with the written word. The way words string together, their magic alchemy to awaken feelings and thoughts. The way words can change the path. The way words can move us closer to our essence. Words have their way with me…I am but their servant. (Love your feather…very cool.)
Kathy – I see you standing on tippy-toes waving that hand. Well of course you do! Anyone who has visited Lake Superior Spirit and drunk (drank?) from your well has had their thirst quenched with your delicious words (and photography).
[Cool feather a gift from my friend, Karen W.]
Good Morning! Good day whichever.
I do not consider myself a writer, yet I am blessed with words of others who inspire me to write, reluctantly write, for years I wrote long hand in journals, and now on blogs.
Jeff – I always enjoy the way you weave words and photography over on The Reluctant blogger.
I love that photo of Paden Plume!
Yep, it’s a compulsion, and for many of us an obsession! Writing allows for a kind of consumation of teh thought process, and it often is a far more powerful way to execute expression, as there is an enormous creative potential and the usual advantage of organization inherent in the pocess. We’ve certainly seen great writing here at SPEAKING FROM THE HEART from the esteemed Paden’s Plume’s alter ego!
Sam – That’s one of the very few photographs that exist of Paden Plume 🙂 I love what you wrote: “Writing allows for a kind of consumation of the thought process…” That’s it, precisely!
Writing thank you cards for 365 days of the year. How cool is that?
Beth – yes, Yes, YES! I’m glad you shared that link here 🙂
Gosh, it’s not that I like to write so much as it is the Opinion that has always got to get out in the fresh air for anyone to see. It would be better if I had something to write about, usually I jump off of some one else’s opinions. Shockingly lazy! I always enjoy your tales and stories and the questions that come after. I wonder if Paden Plume ever have to sharpen that quill? Oh, BTW, get yourself a good, big umbrella and some galoshes!
Sandi – I big umbrella and a pair of wellies are definitely in order where I’m currently at in southern California. With the rain we’re getting, we may well just wash off into the ocean and be done with it.
I’ve always enjoyed your writing. It’s like reading a delightful blend of Fannie Flagg and Erma Bombeck — you crack me up! My only complaint? You don’t do enough of it. Once your article comes out in Grit Magazine, I hope you’ll come over and share the link with us.
Pingback: Leslie Caron, “Rabbit Hole,” “The Fighter,” Takemitsu Festival and a re-viewing of “Black Swan” on Monday Morning Diary (December 20) « Wonders in the Dark
Readers – I just had a fun memory from when I was 7 or 8 years old triggered by an event Sam Juliano writes about over in his Monday Morning Diary (Dec 20) at Wonders in the Dark. I recommend you check it out along with all of his other keen observations.
Hi Laurie, yes…..I love words. All words. Where they take us. How they fit together. What people do with them. I’m not a writer, as such, but am a very enthusiatic and appreciative reader 🙂
Colleen – Like you, I too am an enthusiastic and appreciative read. I just started a new book this morning — “Magic Hour: A Novel” by Kristin Hannah. So far I’ve been pulled in hook, line, and sinker!
Laurie, I went online to have a peek at the Magic Hour and ended up downloading it immediately. It is now next in my to-read list. I can see why you have been pulled in so quickly…..those first three paragraphs just don’t want to let go!! Thank you.
I saw that our storms have moved down into your neighborhood. Hope you and your Dad are staying warm and dry. Take care.
Colleen – I’m in chapter 6 right now and eating it up; it’s FANTASTIC! We’re definitely staying dry … wish I’d brought my Wellies though 🙂
I read Firefly Lane this Summer by Kristen Hannah this Summer and truly enjoyed her story-telling style. I’ll be looking for the Magic Hour.
Sandi – I read Firefly Lane too and thoroughly enjoyed it! You’re going to the Magic Hour – I’m currently in chapter 6 and simply eating it up!
When I allow myself space and time, I love to be a channel for words, ideas and pictures. For me, it is like Reiki writing………you invoke the energy, and allow it to come through you for the reader. Imagine the healing you could bring to the many that read your infused words….much like this blog. It reminds me of the Ringing Cedar series about Anatasia and how her words written by Vladamir (not a writer) have changed millions. Simply amazing and another tool at our disposal for the betterment of the world. Thank you for starting my day off right.
Lisa – I resonate with your observation. “Imagine the healing you could bring to the many that read your infused words…” Like you, I believe that the vibration of words (spoken or written) has tremendous power. That’s one of the many reasons I’m looking forward to being a subscriber to your up-and-coming blog. Whoohoo!
Pingback: Merry Christmas | Ted Howard NZ's Blog
Pingback: Merry Christmas | Ted Howard NZ's Blog
I couldn’t agree more. This is a beautiful way to describe writing. probably 90 per cent of what I write is never seen by anyone, because I just don’t care about having an audience, I just NEED to write. Every single day. Even if it is inane drabble.
Pingback: Life Path 5 « Speaking from the Heart
Pingback: The Writers’ Institute UW-Madison 2011 « Speaking from the Heart
Pingback: Life Path 5: The Path of the Seller | Mika-El heart Seben-wantu 4EVER
Agreed. If you write you’re a writer. There are all kinds of writers but they all share a need to write.
Robert — You hit the nail on the head 🙂
Some people want to define the writer in terms of publishing or economic success. Those accomplishments are praiseworthy, they take time, and discipline but they do not define the writer. Thank you for raising the topic. 🙂
Robert — Thank you for throwing your hat into the ring 🙂
Pingback: Life Path 5 | Tuesdays with Laurie