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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Writer

Since a very early age, rightly or wrongly, I have thought of myself as a writer. Even when I wasn't writing, although, I think it's true, that you are a writer only when you are writing. I wear the overcoat of alienation that a writer requires. I think a writer requires alienation from others or themselves, the better to observe. All good writing, I believe, comes from observation. All good ideas float in from the ether, and a writer, collects and filters. Imagination is a mirror.

Writing is solitary. It's a lonely activity, but really, when I'm writing, lonliness is an ally. Even if the world is knocking at your door, finally you gladly close it shut, and write, although, it's true, I can write in the middle of the chaos. When I was a bike courier, I used to write in a little notebook, I'd be sitting in the middle of a frenzied city plaza writing notes for my first play. Still, finally, you must find an oasis, a little corner in your head, to let the stream flow.

I'm enamoured with the flow. Sometimes you can stubbornly work your way through the text, I know some writers wrestle with every last sentence, but for me, it's best, when I can catch a wave and just hang on for the ride. I may go back and edit later, but when I'm riding that wave, editing is counter-productive. The worst censorship is self-censorship.

You trust that if you're true to the text, that something true will come out. Even the most ridiculous fabrications. You write and then, the words and sentences are on their own. They are not you, they have their own life. It's almost mystical or magical, and anyone can do it.

Isn't that true of just about everything?

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