Saturday, July 4, 2015

Writing Under the Influence

          I know it’s kind of like a magician revealing how his tricks work, but I am about to share with you the deep, dark secret of writers.  I mean ALL writers.  Anyone who has ever put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard or dreamed up a catchy little ditty in their head.  But you have to promise not to tell anyone because, well, then it wouldn’t be a secret any more, right?  Promise?  Okay, here it is.  Every writer across the ages and throughout the world has written under the influence! 
          Oops, that didn’t come out quite right.  Allow me to clarify.
          I don’t mean that writers are their most brilliant when under the influence of drugs or alcohol or even chocolate (although many writers I know do consider chocolate to be the universal muse summon-er).  I mean every writer writes under the influence of someone whose words s/he has read and admired.  Someone who inspired them with a particularly well turned phrase, or brought them to tears with an emotionally packed passage, or sent their heart racing with a description so vivid and vibrant it’s as if the reader were actually teetering on a cliff overlooking an angry sea.  An aspiring writer will read something so poignant or profound they say to themselves, I want to write like that.
          It happens to all of us.