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On Writing

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I have ideas. Nominally, the potential for ideas. The world is a bigger place than I'll ever know. A single man's genius will reap golden monetary and silver words, but it's all to naught in the underestimated wisdom of world and otherworld, of mortal and god. There are several hundred thousand ways to combine notes, but fewer ways to craft a soothing song. Likewise, there are, eternally, more words than the common man can come to appreciate, and much, much fewer to craft what we truly find it worthwhile to say. New words make it to the Merriam-Webster dictionary every year. More make it to the notorious Urban Dictionary as a frivolous attempt at entertaining the youth of the nation. It's a funny world we live in.

Back to the matter of ideas. If I feel my own potential, what is stopping me from releasing that potential? The answer is ridiculously simple in itself, though even as a wordsmith I'm not sure I can adequately describe it. Each human being, from birth, is taught the unshakable word. That word, small as it may be, will set or destroy the path set aside for any individual prepared to take it. That word, simply as it can be said, is "no".

The word "no", I imagine, is as old as time itself. (It's actually estimated to have an origin of just before 900, in a Middle English period. Which leaves a fair bit of time with incoherent babbling used in feeble attempts to get a point of judgment across.) The word "no" creates/destroys/enables/disables a veil- or a shield- to form in the human mind; a shield that, ultimately, decides one's limitations.
The fascinating thing about humans is our so-enthused "limitless potential". A man can be anything. Prove me wrong.

Ah, there's that word "no". Or, at the very least, a form of it. You, pensive as humans are, can likely argue that a man cannot become a noun of your choice. For instance, can a man become water? Suffice it to say, a man can surely make noise like a babbling brook, lie on the floor and mock the flow of a river, but he will not become water. Likely, when his parents told him he could become anything, they failed to mention that there are indeed some things physically impossible to become. As a writer, the same man could write from water's-eye-view, and for all you know, you are reading the personal thoughts of water. Likely, the word "no" has taught you that water cannot write or talk to a translator, and therefore the writer is an imaginative man.

Or a crazy man.

Mothers tow toddlers into antique shops and tell them they can't touch. Oh, they can touch all they want. They can pick up the finest china and throw it into the wall if they wish. The word "no" will come as a form of punishment, if they do, though, so of course they don't dare.
Limitation in writing, is, as I've explained, different than limitation of physicality. The only limits are the ones the writer makes. What, then, I ask, holds back that flow of ideas that we so eagerly spot potential for?

There is a Buddhist principle that suggests the body is, primarily, made of six energy centers called chakras. By unlocking the chakras, the body will feel fresh, clean, and at peace. Spiritual release, as I understand. Writing is, in essence, art and fruit of the spirit. How, then, are we to grasp that potential and unlock it?

The key, quite simply, is to oppress "no". As I've mentioned, "no" comes in many different forms. In this instance, I propose that a writer steals.

"Stealing is wrong. Bad writer. No."

This we should dismiss completely. Stealing is fair game in the way that I will explain. A writer steals the colors of the sky, the feel of the earth beneath his feet. He steals glimpses and glances, emotions, scenes, places. A writer steals a person he renames a character and makes him a doll. He steals thoughts, pictures and love. It's your business what you believe you are stealing from. If it is provided for free, one shall take. The loss is to those who take no advantage from the world around them and simply let it pass by as they survive and neglect to live. For this reason, I condone you to steal. It's free.




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