Thursday, August 16, 2012

Broken Telephone

We writers cannot create in the style that surfaces from a circle of people creating a story by adding a new sentence each time the game revolves around to a new player. This is non-sequitous and uneven -- the thread of the narrative frays instantly and in no time the exercise becomes incoherent.

Writing is a conditioned occupation. One can hardly expect to be a lucid writer if words are not sequenced together in a conscious attempt at communicating something. Perhaps a message or an image; an instance.

A good writer must also be an avid reader. Part of our conditioning is establishing that place in our imaginations where intention transforms into language. I cannot imagine being able to do this on my own, in the dreaded “vacuum.” Without the generous works of others who have attempted the same feat, I know I would fail. This input is what tunes the machine.

A writer is also someone who has taken initiative to understand the process in their own mind. The various components of thought -- language, symbol, image, emotion, memory -- all of these take a different form in the interior landscape and so serve a different function within the plane of imagination. Each plays differently on the screen and it takes some degree of conditioning to learn to decode the images and discover what is being communicated, either in essence or in total.

How deeply we wish to probe into the mystery of writing will ebb and flow with the faith that corresponds to our present ability. When the work flows, like a gambler on a wining streak, I never wish to jinx that process by stopping to ask questions. When the mind struggles and the work falls short, it is then I begin to wonder.

Once the conditioning begins to take place, it demands an obedience from those it guides. It becomes essential to put into practice what has been revealed. A well cannot refill if it is never emptied and the act of creating does not appear to be different to this principle.

A writer must be able to trust their own memory. This is not the same as the recall of an eye witness but appears to be more akin to the recollection of someone who is re-creating an event to entertain a listener. As something actually happened  becomes the seed for the narrative, which is then transformed in the mechanics of imagination.

In this endeavour to educate the imagination, I shall first attempt to isolate and then explore the various influences which are capable of accomplishing this task.

{Artwork by Eduardo Berliner}

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