What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing

Writers write.

This simple premise covers everything I need to know about our craft.

The axiom provides all the cover I need to shut out the world and pretend I fulfill my purpose merely by sitting down with a few trusty instruments.

A Parker Jotter.

A Moleskine Cahier.

A keyboard, perhaps.

But the platitude, it turns out, may also serve as an excuse.

The idea that ‘writers write’ allows me to pretend that writers don’t also research, don’t also listen, don’t also talk.

It allows me (and this is humility rather than arrogance) to rebuff external stimuli in favor of revealing the internal monologue for external consumption on paper.

So, it seems, writers must also confront.

Faced with numerous challenges—inspiration, the accusatory blank page, the flood of stimuli, conclusions, lies, and prattling of others—writers confront internal chaos to establish order and purpose and reason.

This week I will also confront my silent proclivity. This week I will talk about writing. This week I will accept what others have to say about writing as part of a writers’ group.

I have no idea what they will talk about. I have no idea what I will say. I just know that when we get together, we will be talking about writing.



3 thoughts on “What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing

  1. Ben, your post reminds me of:

    At 7 a.m. all my voices start talking inside my head, and when it reaches a certain pitch I jump out and trap them before they’re gone. Or I shower and then the voices talk. You solve problems not by thinking directly of them but allowing them to ferment in their own time. You feed yourself. Make sure you have all the information, whether it’s aesthetic, scientific, mathematical, I don’t care what it is. Then you walk away from it and let it ferment. You ignore it and pretend you don’t care. Next thing you know, the answer comes.

    -Ray Bradbury, Learning is solitary pursuit for Bradbury by Luaine Lee (October 17, 1990) (Herald-Journal, October 14, 1990)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s