Behind a writer’s mind can be the whole world, but where is the line that separates a writer from a non-writer? That’s the big question. Nowadays, everyone seems to be a content creator or a story teller or a novelist or just a person who makes part of this living-to-tell scene and so keeps journaling on a daily basis. My post is not about those.
My post is about the people who live to write, write to live and whose words are particles of the same air that is exhaled incessantly. Why? Because most of these artists don’t know how to excel in a world who privilege more the ‘how’ than the ‘what’, the commerce and its profit than the authenticity of the narrative. I hope these incredible minds can keep on believing in the value they have and mainly that they never stop creating and put it into the paper. Who are they (you)?
1- They see a possible story behind every situation
Looking to a pair of shoes abandoned at someone’s entrance door house is an indicator of an actual person fitting those shoes. “Who’s that person?” and “what does he/she looks like?” are most probably the first thoughts that will pop up on the writer’s mind. He can never look at the pair of shoes just as being an ordinary object. There is a character and its whole story behind. And that’s where most of narratives start.
2- They write as a way of composing and organizing their inside world
Just like a big and deep drawer where all kinds of clothes co-exist together (socks mixed with jackets, skirts with ties, pants with scarves), also the mind is a big container with all thoughts, sensations and impressions. Writing surges as a way of organizing all these personal data, in a way that can be of easier access.
3- They have a very introvert side and the need for solitude
You might be thinking “well, we all do”. Yes, it’s correct, we all have our dark side and our own shelters, but behind a writer’s mind there is always a tendency to isolate and enter a bubble, which is actually where most creativity comes from.
4- They tend to be extremely sensitive
Sensitiveness is the ability or capacity to feel things in a more thorough and enhanced way. A person who writes about the world and other people, about states and emotions, situations and feelings, relations and momentums, is most likely a sensitive character.
5- They normally interact with all kinds of people
If you are a writer and you identify yourself with this point, you might also recognise that people judge you saying “stop trying to please everyone or being nice to all different kinds of people”. Is more than that, isn’t it? A writer is a person from the communication world, a person of words, who needs stories to tell. To tell stories and characterize personages, there’s the need to be curious and attentive, which means maintaining a nice conversation with everyone. See the difference?
6- They are prone to over-thinking
Thinking about the thought itself and chewing the same idea is a thing over-thinkers do. Writers are a bit like that, too. To think, imagine, deconstruct are all part of the art.
7- They question everything around them with a critical sense
“Has that word the same impact when used this way?”; “Why do the fish belong to the Ocean and the birds to the sky and not the opposite way?” Everything is questionable, because that’s the only way a humble soul has to grow and evolve – questioning the world around.
8-They are empathic with everyone around them
They can feel what the others feel. They are able to experiment the same emotions than the others, just because they can easily put themselves on the others’ shoes. That’s more of a human kind. And the writer tends to be that way.
9- They can leave a party at 2 am just because they had an idea to put into the paper
They are dancing at the rhythm of the beat, indulging themselves fully until they have an insight that make them run straight back home and write it down.
10- They are the kind who often leave written notes to friends and relatives
On the meals table, inside the car or even in the mirror of the bathroom, there is a tendency to leave written messages everywhere. Friends and relatives will always find a piece of paper drafted by these people.
11- They jump from one job to another and have a confuse CV
Because the art of writing is something that comes from the bottom of themselves, spontaneous and genuinely, most part of the times it’s difficult to find a job as a ‘writer’. So, soon they make the separation between a) ‘profession’ and b) ‘passion’, and they make money doing things that have nothing to see with writing.
12- They have curiosity for discovering the meaning of new words
This one is quite obvious – the masters of the word should be always concerned about accumulating more vocabulary and being able to interpret all types of texts. So they often open a dictionary once they start writing and they are totally ok with asking to others when they don’t know about a word.
13- They get very disoriented and doubtful… until they grab the pen
Such as mentioned in the number 7), behind a writer’s mind there is a great questioner and a very inquisitive character. Thinking about the world and the range of different possibilities in it make them being doubtful and somehow disoriented. From the moment they grab the pen and start flowing into the composition of words, things get much, much clear.
14- They are good listeners, curious people and real observers
To write implies to know more about the world and to know more about the world implies to have the capacity to listen, attentively, to others and to comprehend their perspectives. If a writer is inside his own bubble, stubborn and unwilling to know about different angles, then he is only creating content and not being an actual writer.
15- They can’t be more than 24 hours without writing something
Just as the surfer needs his daily ride on the waves, and the dancer needs to move her body often and the yogi can’t start the day without some moments sitting in meditation, also the writer gets ‘mentally stiff’ if the exercise of writing is not put into practice.
16- They get tense and frustrated if they don’t put it into words
Some situation has given place to a different feeling and that feeling was not intellectualized? Ok, there will be some tension created there. This is why these people need some time for their own, to get to think clearly about things.
17- They obsessively think on how they will tell what they see/ experiment
Living life is not just that: living life comes with the extra of telling about it. It’s like a meta-living that cannot be disregarded. (Only during meditation, where one needs to drop all thoughts and concepts).
18- They question the world around them and get tricked by that
Black and white, left and right, up and down, tea and coffee, sun and moon, work and fun, east and west – every side of the coin is worthy to be analyzed and thought of. There are not much irrefutable truths since they are aware of the pros and cons present in all realities.
19- They couldn’t think of a laptop without a nice keyboard
This is a practical one and it’s so true. If they would need to travel on a tablet, for example, they would refuse or, if so, they would freak out because it would be impossible to write. Once normal people look for the storage capacity in first place, writers will gaze at the keyboard as a first thing, always!
20- They get to know themselves by what they see in the words written
Sometimes writing is the way of recognising their feelings and thoughts, as well as the traces of their personality, because every narrative is always self-biographic. Each sentence thrown to the paper is a new decoding of the Self.
21- Yoga, coffee, chocolate and… writing!
It actually goes well along with these addictions. Why? Because the writer is really the kind who get chills and shakiness in the moments before opening the laptop and start typing the words. Sounds weird but it’s true.
22- They normally write with no errors and hate abbreviations
Each seed planted is a new fruit, so why making bad use of the language just because they are typing on the phone to their closest friend? There’s no such thing. To the writer, it is always the right opportunity to make the best usage of words and language.
23- They choose letters rather than talking to communicate in difficult periods
Emotions, feelings, thoughts and ideas are much easily expressed through the word than through the speech, that’s why when there is important stuff to be discussed, their friends and relatives will most likely be bestowed with a piece of paper or an email.
There are so many more things that characterizes well what’s behind a writer mind… but me, myself, started looking around those pairs of shoes and wondering how can I start the next story.
Please, writers, keep the good work up. Cosmic energy is being generated when you canalise your emotions through the writtings.
By Margarida Pimenta