funny me ;-)


"...What's in your head, in your head, in your head, zombie..." you know the line from the song by the cranberries? Well, I give you the chance to get a glimpse (and not more!) of what's in my head and of why I love to write when there are so many other things in the world to have fun with.

The past, the youth and memories all have one thing in common: They are like windows in a room which get increasingly smaller in the course of time. We try to look through the windows and catch a glimpse of what is outside, but mercilessly the windows get smaller and smaller the harder we try.
For a certain time we can see some things quite clearly. For other things, however, our vision gets blurred and to us they seem hazy and wobbly and somehow too distant for us to recognize. There are also things which have completely disappeared from view.

But it's not only these windows betraying our vision, even the light outside is somewhat tricky. Where we see some things in the cool neon loneliness of an abandoned supermarket, others seem to appear forever in the mellow golden sun of a Saturday afternoon around tea time.
Some dark and creepy corners, however, make it quite difficult for us to make out the sinister things hovering in their twilight. There seems to be a lot of them.

Not only the windows and the things outside behave in such strange ways. Even people react differently concerning these things.
Some people seem not to care at all about what's going on outside. Their whole life they face the opposite wall, pretending to have gone myopic long ago or just are not interested. Yesterda's gone and everything trying to attract attention is ignored or treated in such unfriendly ways that it disappears by itself.
The past is, well, past. And let sleeping dogs lie that's what everybody knows. Although it is often forgotten that dogs won't sleep forever.

There is a second kind of people: Those who deliberately try to keep their vision clear and to keep the view.
I don't say that they enjoy their view, for one cannot always enjoy memories. Nevertheless these people try to keep the windows from getting smaller. And everytime the windows do get smaller they just take a step towards them. It doesn't work all that well all the time for there is still such a nasty thing as the present, demanding too much attention most of the time and also wanting to be looked after.
And there are things people don't want to see, but most things want to be remembered anyhow or at least they don't want to be left as unfinished business.
After all, it is not the best to be living in the past and to forget about real life.

As past, youth and memories have one thing in common, so do people. Whether they do it consciously or not, they all try to preserve at least some view of their youth. Some people write songs, others write books and some engage in weird sexual practics. They all have their means and ways.
The fact that I am writing this right now renders any arising question about my method redundant.

When you talk to little children, being a full-time writer is not their dream job number one.
There are many other professions filling the cliche of what children want to do for a living when they are grown up. Writing as such is certainly not among them.
Talking to adults, on the other hand, revises the picture. Although it is not quite reversed, at class reunions an astounding number of people suddenly admit that they have always wanted to write a book. Once it started, the number increases with every further reunion.
Strange, isn't it? And even stranger is why they don't just do it.

The only way to learn to write is by writing.
Well, exactly that is what makes the difference between a writer and a policeman or a surgeon, because it would not be a useful approach to brain surgery. Of course there are a lot of people who have a degree in literature or linguistics, but this is not essential.
In their studies they have only learned how to use language as a tool, if they have learned anything at all. No more and no less. Just as a child has to learn how to use a spoon to eat, a writer has to learn how to use language according to its rules of grammar and orthography.
But the knowledge about the rules still doesn't make them a master of the art (though admittedly it is helpful on the way).

The only way to learn to write is by writing.
There is no other way.
And anybody can start writing whenever they want.
Becoming a brain surgeon is far more complicated. Just starting to write is almost enough. But not quite. Compulsive diligence is needed, a gluttony for words, a taste for words, a desire to devour words and to reel in them.
Now, I don't say that the first literary footsteps will win the Pulitzer prize but it's the only way towards it. One first has to devour words to be able to put them down. And one has to have the desire to put them down. One has to feel an urgent need to tell something that seems worth telling. And that already implicates another basic requirement of storytelling: a story. It has to be a story that's worth telling. If other people find it worth reading, that's a different pair of boots.
The author has to love the story in the first place. And has to believe it.
Deep down nobody writes stories for other people. Everybody writes them for themselves. As long as an author stands for a story, it is almost irrelevant what story it is.
It's the singer, not the song, and it's he who writes a story and not what he writes. To believe this, one just has to read the shorts of novels in the Reader's Digest. The content remains the same. What does the trick with the long version is the telling.

The only way to learn to write is by writing.
Nevertheless there still lurks a rumour about such a thing as talent in the shadows of our minds. Talent is quite helpful on the way, that's for sure, but it is just the top of the cream.
It is just the little bit that distinguishes a perfect piece of work from a good one. But who wants to be perfect anyhow? Practising long enough, on the other hand, is quite helpful in hiding a lack of talent. I'm sure that not every singer or songwriter on the radio has so much talent that they really deserve to be listened to. Probably most of them do not. Most of them only have been practising their craft so long until they finally were able to do without talent.
The question if somebody has talent or not squares our circle, as even if he has, it again comes out after practising long enough.

Well, at least that's how I feel about it. Other people may feel differently which is their right. But as I stand for what I say the logical consequence was to sit down and start writing. Though I am realistic enough not to believe that I will become a millionaire by filling white paper with little black dots. Maybe I don't want to. And maybe I have already taken my first step by believing what I wrote in the beginning. Maybe I have already chosen my way.

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