The True Work of Writing

Only now, I am beginning to recognize the true work of writing. It isn’t only the words. The words are the craft. The words are the practice. The words are the instrument.

The true work of writing is learning how to dream on command. It is finding that dark, vast ocean inside of you and tapping in so you can drink or drown at a moment’s notice.

The work of writing is meeting people who do not exist and learning to listen to their stories. You will know you are hearing them when you begin to fall in love. And they will follow you into your waking life, the non-dreaming part and they will begin to whisper at the most inconvenient times. And you will have a thousand other things you are meant to be doing. Things that are more important. Things that are more practical. But these people that you now love are speaking with such urgency. Their whispers so lovely, so personal.

And you will live a kind of divided life. A waking life of here and now; a writing life of lovely whispers. And you will carry forward in both worlds, often simultaneous. But your attention is not divided. You are not living two halves of two lives. Your whole life gets richer. You are living a two-fold life. You have made yourself bigger. The characters live in you and you live in them.

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