the duality of a writer

Solitude is an essential tool for every writer. He or she must become a hermit in a self-created cave, The voice of the muse, the inner creator can only be heard where there is no distraction. Writing becomes a self-imposed exile.

And yet, the writer is also a missionary of sorts, always aware that just outside the cave stands The Reader waiting impatiently. When we write, we “speak” to the unseen Reader.

The duality often becomes a conflict. We want to be true to the inner voice but we also take into consideration the Reader. After all, if we write in a language only we can understand, what would be the point of expressing it at all? We’d just be talking to ourselves. Why put words to paper? Why post it? Why share it at all?

Because the writer feels she or he has a message, something worth sharing with the world.

The challenge is having the hermit and the missionary working in harmony with each other.

Too much isolation is like doing shadow puppets in a dark cave. Only you know what you’re doing and even then can’t be sure of it.

Conversely, too much concern for the Reader may distort your inner voice, diminish the message and weaken the power of your words.

That is the duality of the writer. I myself, can only write when I am alone and the chance of interruptions is minimal. At the same time, I am the critical Reader keeping check on my writing, making sure it is understandable, cohesive and, most of all, not boring.

I have some really good arguments with myself.

Basildon Park

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