Monday, November 14, 2016

The Observer

“I say goodbye, but you hear hello.  I say stop, but you hear go.  I say yes, but you hear no.  I cannot speak so I’ll write instead.”  Master Altman

I tell people that I am a writer, but that is not entirely true.  I am actually an observer who writes – a typical Five on the Enneagram.  It was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that helped me realize this.

When I first saw the announcement about NaNoWriMo on social media, I considered participating; after all, there is a third Book of Rhino I intend to write.   I have a rough outline ready – why not do it?

“Because, because, because, because, because…because of the writerful thing it was.”

NaNoWriMo is for writers – I am an observer.  Writers know what they are going to write; they control their novels’ destinies.  Observers must wait for the story to reveal itself, and, as all observers know, revelation lives in its own time.

Writers are amazing people.  I marvel at what writers can do, at the wonderful works they produce, at the magic they create with “black marks on white paper.” (Kurt Vonnegut)  They are talented artists.  Sometimes I wish I could be like them, but if I were, I would not be myself.  If I tried to be like them, I would end up wronging instead of writing.

The writers I have met through social media have been very welcoming and generous to me, even though I am just an observer.  They probably know full well that I am not a writer, but they let me play in their sandbox anyway.  That being said, I must sincerely affirm that I love writing.

I love writing for the same reasons I love mathematics. 
1.     I am not naturally gifted in either field so I experience the thrill of the challenge every time I set myself to solve a problem or write a bit of prose.
2.     Writing, like mathematics, is a means by which to explore, explain, and evaluate real world phenomena.
3.     Writing and mathematics are both wonderful problem-solving processes in which the journey is just as satisfying as reaching the destination.

And so I write.  That is, I observe myself writing.

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