“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.