Tag Archives: experience

We are more than the person behind the curtain

What are writers, but mysterious figures behind the gargantuan stories they tell. For some like Shakespeare, they stay a mystery for readers hundreds of years after the stories were published. Others like Ray Bradbury step out into the world, live in the spotlight, revealing secrets of the trade to budding dreamers of the future.

A depiction of Charles Dickens giving a reading

One of the most terrifying and enjoyable aspects of being a writer is the interaction with our readers. It scares the wits out of writers because we are compelled to be loners. At the same time, the first hand experience of seeing the reader’s reaction is indescribable. Yet, for two bloggers the ability of a writer to be a performer is a heated debate.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2099962/Writers-performers-despite-preferring-avoid-limelight.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

The author of the link above defends the writer’s perspective wholeheartedly, while Amitav Ghosh disagrees. As Ghosh is a novelist/blogger, who is convinced the act of reading one’s work rips away the relationship between the reader and the book.

“The reader related in the first instance to a book, not to its writer; and writers, for their part, did not confront their audience directly in the manner of musicians, singers, actors and so on.”

The statement above made by Ghosh are powerful, but not necessarily true. Ghosh believes that the author is not meant to read his writing out loud, but simply write it only to retreat back behind the curtain. The author of the blog disagrees with the above statement because for centuries, writers have been the rockstars of the world. Not only novelists, but poets have an obligation to their writing to speak publicly.

Without the performance in front of the audience, poetry doesn’t have the power it could just read in silence.  Poetry almost solely relies on the use of sound and delivery to provide the emphasis in lieu of the extra words.  What Ghosh doesn’t appreciate about writing is the feel of the words on your lips. In addition to poetry, words flow in a beautiful way with prose. Hearing the one who created the story read it aloud is an experience that can’t be replaced.  As a long time reader, I have never had the opportunity to see my favorite authors read their work in public.

To me, it feels like I’m missing an entire part of the entertainment. Because as much as Ghosh and other authors would like to admit, stories are entertainment. They have been entertainment since the beginning of human history. Whether it is read from a printed book or spoken from memory, the author can bring the characters to life in a way no one else can. The author is the expert source on whatever he/she has written. There is no one else more qualified to bring the characters to life.  It is a privilege and a responsibility for a writer to express their excitement through a public performance.

I chose the picture of Dickens’ before I finished the article only to find that the article mentions Dickens as one of the proudest performers in writing history. He was working on his performance as he wrote the novels, creating the characters with his face. It is an amazing site to hear a poet read their writing or hear an excerpt from a novel you’ve read. The performance made is not just a money opportunity, but a responsibility to the give the story all of the potential it has. The reader deserves every possible viewpoint of the story, and nothing beats the author reading their proud work to you.

Don’t forget, the writers are not just the people behind the curtain.  They are the creators, the magic makers, the entertainers, the teachers, and the inspiration. Writers don’t just write the stories, they live them, and finally they pass the story on as if it were livelihood given to millions of loving children.

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Love and Valentine’s Day: From A Writer’s Perspective

Since the beginning of time humans have been social creatures. Love is one of the most amazing and mysterious emotions known to man. The old believe love is learned over time and the young think it happens in an instant. Although I’m technically on the young side of the spectrum, my belief about love falls right in the middle. The opportunity for love can happen in the blink of an eye, but it takes time to get to know a person enough to love them. You can be 15 or 65 and fall in love for the first time.

I began dating when I was 16 and you could say I was a hopeless romantic. Learning quickly of heartbreak and rejection, I went through boy like paper towels. I gave my heart to a boy for a few weeks, and found that we weren’t compatible. You might call me shallow or fickle. I bet my parents would have agreed, but I learned how to love from a lot of little  mismatches. I have the pleasure of admitting I’ve been in love more than once, which is a feat not many people enjoy in their lifetimes. It’s not hard to fall in love. The problem people don’t figure out is that if you’re truly in love you never fall out of it. One person decides that the love isn’t real or strong enough to survive. It forces both to move on with their lives, transforming into hatred or if you’re lucky a comforting memory.

From Nietzsche's "On Reading and Writing"

I’d like to think every intimate (meaning close and loving) relationship I’ve had has changed me. Most in a good way, but others in a bad. No matter how the relationship ends, I take from it a learning experience to help me with the next one. The one thing that has never changed about my relationships, though, is the way I express my love. My significant other, old or current, will have collected notes or letters from me over the course of the relationship. I could say it’s an endearing twist on the common communication of past, but I’d be lying. Writing letters to the guy I love is just what I do. I can’t change how I love a man like I can’t change the ethnicity I am.  It is a staple to my life to write my feelings down for those I love.

Since it is the commercial celebration of love and relationships, I decided to explain how being a writer affects my love life. While writers are mostly loners, we long for love. Some of the most famous authors have been left to fulfill their dreams alone. Yet, it is not a lonely life for everyone. Authors like Robert Frost or my favorite, Stephen King have been able to share their dreams with women who care about them. Having someone to share in the trials and rewards is indescribable for a writer. If we have no one to share in the spoils of our craft, then what is the purpose of writing about life in the first place?

Sophocles, the Philosopher

My current boyfriend (hopefully the last) has know me for a good amount of time. As I’m only 22 years old, I haven’t had a lot of time to develop decades of relationships, but the ones I do hold onto are important to me. He’s known me since before I announced myself as a writer, and supports me regardless of the financial misgivings of the profession. It is a passion he respects and doesn’t understand as most people don’t. He cares for what I’m writing, listening as I read my stories to him. But what he enjoys most is my letters. I enjoyed 5 years of work with him, but the three months of work were the most special. I worked at a grocery story. Noble, huh? And with the massive amounts of free time at work I would write on anything I could find. I’d write him several notes a day, every day for over a hundred days. He loved the experience of my writing because it was the most personal and compassionate loving anyone could receive.

Like the sonnets of Shakespeare or Petrarch, love can be told a thousand different ways. But for a writer to love another person, there is no limit to the kinds and combinations of words we can use to express love in the deepest of ways. So, when I began focusing on my school work and spent less time away from my boyfriend, the letters stopped. I was able to see him and express myself in person and no longer needed the letters to show him I cared.

Some of Shakespeare's many thoughts on love

However, I wrote to him unconsciously.  In every story I was writing, I was putting a piece of him in one of my characters. It wasn’t a conscious decision to put him in, but he made a perfect hero in my eyes. All of the things that made me fall in love with him made it easy to put him in my stories. Although it probably would have worked out better if he was a villain, but lucky am I that I got a prince!  You see, it’s one thing to write how much you love someone. It’s a completely different experience to love someone so much that they are written into your stories. It is a blessing and a curse to put people you know in your stories.

Unconsciously, everyone we know helps us to form realistic characters. It is the easiest way for a writer to form a character. In this case, writing the love of my life into my stories is a blessing, so far. He is not phased by his involvement in my stories because I never put all of him in one character. Each person has many different personalities inside them: a soft side, a brave one, a private, and a public one. It allows me to use him without having someone recognize that it’s him. He can be a brave prince and a shy nerd depending on the story, but both describe him in a different way. Each day I have the gift of using someone I love to fuel my need to write.

Looks like philosophers really know their stuff

He is my support, my critic, and my inspiration. He may not know how the gears work inside my head or how it gets on paper. He does know me, and that is the most important thing. As long as he knows that I love him through his participation in my writing, I’m doing my job as his girlfriend and a writer. I’ve contemplated using my love writing skills in Hallmark cards, but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself. You can bet, though, that this Valentine’s Day my boyfriend will receive a card full from corner to corner with loving words specially chosen just for him.

Whether you have the chance to love someone now or are waiting for “the one” there is always hope that love will find a way. If not family and friends can be the best solution to a lonely heart. If not, the bars are open and the bottles are flowing. Go out, date or not and have a fun time 🙂

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