On Writing (Part I)

October 12, 2009 | By | 2 Comments

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

– C.S. Lewis

fountain_penI think that the best comedians are philosophers at heart. They pay extra careful attention to the details in life. They look more closely than most. They call attention to things which don’t seem to belong. They see clues that others ignore. Clues begging to be discovered.

You might be wondering what this has to do with writing. I’m not really sure, but I thought it sounded deep and reflective. Maybe it is because my favorite writers are the ones who help me to see things I’ve never noticed but always noticed at the same time. They do so in a way that is different, surprising and full of raw energy.

Discovering your passion is like seeing that girl at a party. You see all kinds of girls at a party. Still, every once in a great while, there is that one girl who makes you want to look for a third and fourth time. You don’t know what it is, but your heart is drawn to her. You can’t get her out of your mind. You have to know everything about her. Immediately. There is something about her that won’t let you go.

It’s like running a stud-finder up against a wall. You pass through open spots until you feel something coming on. The signal gets stronger and stronger until your finger is on the pulse of what matters most at that point in time. You brush up against a pocket of something that is both solid and hidden. You’ve found your spot to dig in.

A lot of people say that writing is about finding your voice. I disagree. Being a good writer is about being in tune with what is going on. Writing isn’t about finding your voice. Writing is about mining your heart.

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.Luke 6:45

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