Columnist explores the mind of a writer

By Michael Pepin

The mind of a writer operates in a different fashion than the average reader.  A writer, by definition, is someone who aspires to continually improve their skill with the written word through inspiration and study of other works of literature.  The process of writing profoundly alters one’s perception of the world, because the writer views the world with the same critical eye that interprets literature.

One of the ways that writing changes your view of the world is that you forever lose that ability to enjoy a good book as others do. It is a curse of being a writer, that you pay more attention to the style and plot structure of a story than the actual novel itself.  The majority of books begin to feel repetitive and boring, because you have already seen its plot structure in so many other novels. Writers craft books, so in turn they notice more accurately the details of a book that otherwise would escape the normal reader.

In turn, when a writer chances upon a truly exceptional book, it has to do more with the writing in the novel than the story being told.  The writer wants to uncover the fine details about the book to incorporate them within their own writing.  The writer wants to learn how the book was written and memorize the process. Writers see themselves in good books, and so the writer’s obsession to learn everything there is about its creation and structure is understandable.  The same concept that applies to the writer for books likewise applies for movies as well.  It becomes impossible to enjoy the poorly planned or structured movie despite its prestige or reviews, and simple action flicks or clichés no longer carry any excitement.  The process of writing and creating stories has stripped the magic of storytelling to a matter of skill and structure.

However, the biggest change that occurs within the writer is when he aspires to look for similarities between life and writing.  The writer borders on the edge of paranoia with this concept alone.  Every small action and word is taken into consideration, and the writer attempts to interpret the cause and motivation of everything, which often results in fallacious reasoning.  This is because the writer views the world with the same critical eye that interprets writing and its many clues.  The writer cannot help but wonder if those small foreshadowing clues add up to a larger understanding, even though experience has proven such an understanding wrong.  Reality has become an intricate story unfolding to the writer, and such interpretations are only natural to someone devoted to the field of writing.

We see the world around us in a different manner than others who have devoted their time and talent to other skills. We, as writers, rely upon the emotions and events of our own life for inspiration, and attempt to improve ourselves by learning to master those emotions to transmute power into our writing.  We creates characters from pieces of his own personality, and draws emotion from his past experiences to add life to his writing. We see the world in a different way because we look to every single experience, story, and memory as means of improving ourselves as writers.  The reality around us is an indefinitely complex story from which we study tediously.  This is, of course, because the writer aspires to do nothing less than put the impossible into small black letters on a page, and invoke emotion from all who dare to read.

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