I’ve had a feeling today that I sometimes get when I’m tired, as though part of me were missing. It’s a Herbert the Alligator feeling, I suppose. As though I were incomplete.
What it makes me think of, since my mind tends in this direction, is the relationship between writers and readers. Writers sometimes think that the story is what they write, what’s on the page. But of course it’s not. The story is a collaboration between the writer and reader. It exists in the reader’s head, but is created by both: the words of the writer and the imagination of the reader.
Good writers realize that they’re collaborators, and they write out of that knowledge. Beginning writers will often describe everything. But that leaves nothing for the imagination of the reader to do. Good writers are aware of the reader. They know the reader is there to complete the story, will imagine the characters from pieces of information. So they work on providing the right pieces.
Here I was, trying to provide the right pieces yesterday, writing:
I think writing is partly a way to deal with that feeling of being incomplete. At least it is for me, right now. When I feel that way, I write. But honestly, I don’t think I can write today. I don’t know what it is. Nothing is coming out right. I can’t seem to make the connection.
Maybe it’s just tiredness, I don’t know. Maybe it’s working on a writing project that’s taking up a great deal of my time. Maybe it’s that tonight, I feel as though part of me were missing, and I don’t have whatever it takes to write through that, despite that.
This is a short blog post, isn’t it? Well, so be it.