The Alchemist-Writer and the Library of the Human Experience
Not to get on a serious note or anything, but I wrote this little blurb, and I figured that I wanted to share it. It is simply a small observation about writing theory that came to me in a conversation with a friend as we drove down the street to Dunkin' Donuts. Anyways...
As a writer, I spend most of my day in the worlds that inhabit my mind. I will not pretend that writing came easy to me, as it did not. I began writing as a hobby when I was sixteen. The way this occurred was a somewhat unorthodox and incremental process, and, though I started at sixteen, I was not comfortable with my writing until I was twenty-three. I did not know this when I began, but writing involves reading, careful study, observation, and perception of the World around us. Writing is art, but simultaneously a science. A writer is an alchemist of the abstract, who gazes beyond the external world and into the unseen themes——the mechanics of the machine we call the soul or the “True World.” Like the alchemist, they are (and must be!) acutely aware of the elements that compound and consist the recipe we call prose or poem. Before the writer lies this multitude of elements——a Library of Themes that he or she must consider. The books of this Library have almost all but been told by the storytellers of ages gone. In the words of the unnamed teacher of Ecclesiastes, there is “nothing new under the sun,” but has merely been told time and time again.
For this Library is but a collection of the Human Experience, a plethora of our ideas and identity from which one must concoct something grand. This Library——this mortar and pestle in which the Alchemist-Writer uses to crush the ingredients is but a picture of us. The writer does not play merely with voice, meter, rhyme, character, setting, or plot; the writer tampers at the most atomic level with the pieces of the Human Experience. When one writes a poem, they write a message to the Spirit of Man; when one tells a story, they simply draw for their readers a mirror in which to gaze into. Ultimately, that is what the reader of the story yearns for (whether known to them or not). We not only want to read a wonderful tale, but we also want to see ourselves within it. And so the writer, then, has a crucial job: To remind us of who we are, and to tell us who we can become. This is the job of the Alchemist-Writer; this is the job of the one who peruses the Library of Human Experience. So, with that, next time you sit down to type a page, ask yourself: “What do I see in this mirror? And who is gazing back at me?”
It just happened like one of those 2 a.m. conversations, me and him just sitting in the Dunkin' parking lot before he had to clock in. I mean, the conversation didn't go exactly like the above, but I found myself wanting to spell out this idea in my mind. It was pretty much a realization to me. I felt one of those "that makes sense" feelings about it. Anyway, I thought it would be a great way to kick off the revival of my blog (from the grave). I hope you enjoyed! :)