Last week we discussed the head, neck and heart of a great writer. Ending on a quote from Alice Walker. “A writer’s heart, a poet’s heart, an artist’s heart, a musician’s heart is always breaking. It is through that broken window that we see the world.”
Let us continue down this fascinating anatomy. Shall we…
Arms. A great writer is always reaching into the infinite pool of the impossible. Hoping to grasp that one impossibility that makes their ideas plausible. But in order to reach into that pool one must have the right tools to grasp and correlate the undeveloped ideas into an astounding creation. Leon Uris said, “In order to be a good writer, you’ve got to be a bad boss. Self-discipline and stamina are the two major arms in a writer’s arsenal.”
Hands. A great writer’s hands are always busy spinning and weaving infinite worlds by words being typed with creative anticipation. Feverishly pecking away at those computer keys like a mad scientist; even to the point of cramped hands. They can be compared to one who sculpts, chipping away until that thought is clearly manifested in the finished product of their conceptualization. Thus giving us a unique perspective through their eyes. Grant Morrison says, “Writers and artists build by hand little worlds that they hope might effect change in real minds. In the real world where stories are read. A story can make us cry and laugh, break our hearts or makes us angry enough to change the world.”
This explains the continuity and persistence in their craft.
Guts. All great writers have a creative fire in their bellies. This explains the continuity and persistence in their craft. Navigating the literary maze; they are driven by a compulsion to put some part of themselves on paper. In the final analysis, the product any writer has to offer is not the subject being written about, but the writer’s being. It takes guts to pull pieces from life and make masterpieces of them in the face of overwhelming odds and criticism. Writers take bits and pieces from the out-of-control fire called life. Sometimes setting ablaze a best seller and sometimes being burned at the reader’s stake! But great writers have enough faith in themselves to take those risks. I like Sylvia Plath‘s take on this. “And by the way, anything in life is writable about if you have the ongoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worse enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
Legs. We think of great writers in terms of always sitting at a desk—actually chained to it. Ray Bradbury shed some light on this subject as he writes, “My stories run up and bite me on the leg. I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish the idea let’s go and runs off.” Bradbury’s analogy is quite unorthodox, but drives the point home. Because now he has the idea and can run off with it to the finish line.
Feet. They must be firmly planted in the soil of creativity for an author to define his art, as all great writers do. But then we must also realize they have cleared undiscovered paths and left footprints for us to follow and further exceed. Stephen King writes, “The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there…and still on your feet.”
Perhaps after dissecting these anatomical parts, you may discover characteristics that can be grafted into your writing skills. But whatever you take away from this—keep punching those darn keys!
Thank you so much for your continued readership and support. Until next week… Blessings and Peace.
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