“Can I really explain what it is like, to reside in that place? Not really. I can only write about it.” -Rick Bass
It’s a curious difference. The difference between explaining and writing. When I try to explain to someone what I experience in my mind, in my body, when I am writing, something odd happens. To put it simply, I become a dithering idiot. I stumble over my words like a babe’s first toddle, leaving them to doubt how it is that I could possible form a sentence on paper.
How do I tell them that there is vibrant electricity running through my body as my fingers tap away at the keyboard? Do I explain what is happening in my head? That I see an entire film production of characters interacting spontaneously, changing their minds from one action to the next, until they do something worth penning down? What would they say if I were to describe the characters as not only having minds of their own, but also slowly becoming my companions? Would they appreciate the energy that seeps from me as I attempt to tailor words into phrases, into sentences, into pages – into story? How do I explain this? Can I explain what it is like? I must agree with Bass. “Not really. I can only write about it.”