Monday, January 23, 2012


"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. This doesn't happen much, though."  (J.D. Salinger, "The Catcher in the Rye)

I once read somewhere that writing a book is the closest a man will ever come to delivering a child. The source is correct. This particular contribution will not turn out to be a book of any size despite the amount of labor that goes into writing it. Nevertheless, it is still close enough to child delivery. Permit me for a moment to stain this page with the blood and water of this effort.

Composition is a fascinating exercise, allowing one to speak to a page for an audience of one or millions, for old times’ sake or for all time or for a waste of time. The reasons are myriad why one would write and while one may today say, “this is the reason I write,” he may find another reason tomorrow or none at all. Perhaps he may reflect and embarrassed, decide yesterday’s reason for writing was no reason at all. One can only imagine how he must view the child of his imagination. 

One reason for writing is finding voice. Many exercises exist to help one find a voice. I hope to find my own someday. Those with voice often speak just as they write and these writers are audible in their penned words: John Lithgow and Harlan Ellison write as they speak. Poe and Twain take a mere pinch of imagination, but they can be rendered. Can you discern Steinbeck, Dickens, Hemingway, and Melville as they speak? Then there are some whose voice cannot be heard (Patterson and Clancy come to mind) and the myriads who have simply lost theirs. 

Yet, look at all those children! Consider all those words, captured, frozen. Each one tell of its sculptor who, well their passions read, stamped on lifeless pages hands that mocked and hearts that fed.

Writing is one way to fulfill the design of The Creator with intention. He created with language, so we who are made in His image, are creative with language; but, writing is much more than simply arranging words on a page. Writing is communication (at the least) and expression (at the most). Here is the peak of creativity. My greatest personal and greatest challenge is to communicate in ways un-typical. I may be predictable, but here on the page, I cannot be. Why would I desire to write the same as everyone else? I don’t want to be read the same as everyone else—I would have no voice! Creativity is a unique contribution, as far as human effort is concerned and will allow.

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