If I am honest and not feeling quarrelsome, I understand that writing is an opportunity for me to travel into my most authentic self. Here I find that which cannot be broken; here I find that which cannot be measured; here I find that which is without fear. It is a lovely place to be. It is the seat of true security and also creativity, an unlikely but powerful combination. Yet this authentic self is also in rather stark contrast to the rest of my life, that part of my day consumed with the world of form. I must get about this world, a world where everything can break, where we measure everything from our weight to our Amazon ranking, and where fear is everywhere. It is easy to romanticize writing for this reason, as I have trained myself in the quiet and solitude of my desk to find this authentic self more easily.

During my work the page becomes a hypnotist’s watch fob, a perfectly blank non-place through which to enter the world within my world. Here is where true reality crackles, but I cannot live at my desk, nor can I take it with me. It is all right that I must rejoin that world of form, however, for that is where all those things born from our authentic selves are shared. If a book were to remain within my authentic self, no one would ever read it, and if a kiss were to remain dreamed of it would never be shared.

For this reason the world of form can be a pleasant playground, but try not to let it hypnotize you into believing it is real. You have already glimpsed reality in the dream we call writing. You have glimpsed it and known it for what it was, and then perhaps disregarded it because there was stuff you had to do and get and repair and measure and criticize. Until you grew tired of all that stuff and what you had to do with and to it, and returned to the other dream you had forgotten and understood that you were home again.

9781935961994-Perfect_CS.inddWrite Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.

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