Ask a writer why they write and you are guaranteed to received a multitude of answers. From ‘I want to be famous’ to ‘something inside me wants me to write’, you will run the gamut of reasons. Granted some answers will be dependent upon the perception of the writer because let’s face it, reality and writers are sometimes mutually exclusive! Believe me, I know!
A few years ago I heard the term OLD SOUL mention in a fleeting conversation. An old soul is a person who is believed to have lived many lives. Someone who, when born, already carries within them the wisdom of all those lives lived and experienced.
Would this perhaps explain where our writing comes from?
Writers write about things they have never experienced all the time. Single people manage to paint accurately the life of a married man, men vividly describe child-birth, a girl describing sights and sounds of New Orleans having never set foot in America let alone Bayou Country.
How is it we are able to breathe reality and life into scenes set in far-off lands and often non-existent ones?
And while we are on the question of how, let’s ask how it is that a writer carves a scene out of a blank page, sometimes having no idea what will happen next, or why a particular character behaves in a specific way. But suddenly the scene is resolved and it becomes clear – all why’s and wherefores are answered…. And yet…. You remain puzzled. There is a mystery in the writing. If you had no idea as to the scenes resolution then how is it that most, if not all scenes leading up to it have followed an unsaid rule to culminate in the final resolution?
I’d like to think I have an old soul. What a romantic idea… To be able to retain knowledge from previous lives seems so impossible, so unreal that the idea holds a certain entrancing charm. Perhaps it would explain why I never hated Shakespeare. Or why History was a joy to learn.
Whatever it may be. Writers are blessed with a secret intuition, a flair for personality and drama, a taste for suspense and intrigue, a desire to draw tears from your eyes and instill fear into your veins.
We weave worlds out of our dreams, meld reality with the fantastical, conjure characters who stay with you whether it be through a random laugh, a cold shiver or a pool of heated tears.
If you are an old soul, conjure up the worlds of your past lives in your story.
And if you are not an old soul… Create … Illuminate … Weave the threads.
Readers live through our writing.