Secret Writerly Wisdom

Amaryllis Budding Forth

Life has been quieter than usual, even, and that’s saying something.  Although we’re working on getting parts of the yard ready for spring, we won’t be doing  much planting for several more weeks.  Heck, the majority of the garden won’t go in until early May.

I’m not writing anything I’m ready to talk about.

So, here’s my secret writerly wisdom: Writers who are writing are usually pretty boring people.

If they’re telling you about trips or cons or lecture tours or the cake they baked or their daredevil hobbies, they’re not writing.  What you’re soaking up is the Not Writing.

The realized writerly life is about as fascinating for the outside observer as watching paint dry.  There’s change and transformation, but even watching an amaryllis grow (they can grow several inches in a day) is probably more enthralling.

Oh…  Why is our amaryllis caged?  To keep Roary from biting it, of course!  He still tries, and we’re going to need to uncage it soon, but at least the buds are getting to form.

5 Responses to “Secret Writerly Wisdom”

  1. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    Why does he want to bite it? Is the plant communicating something rude to Roary that we humans wouldn’t understand? Or is it just a tasty plant?

    I would think being around a writer would be very peaceful. I imagine they spend a lot of time staring into space, and not talking except for random interjections, or phrases like “lavender is better than purple”.😂

    • janelindskold Says:

      Roary is just under a year old. He’s fascinated by new weirdness and since we don’t have indoor plants most of the time, this is Super Weird. Imagined questions include: “Do I eat it? Do I hit it? Will it play with me? Why does it have dirt? Can I dig there?”

  2. James Mendur Says:

    The problem is that we cannot see the writer’s mind as she writes. And if the writer stops to explain WHY she wrote what she wrote, then she’s no longer writing but instead analyzing, which is not the same thing.

    I think of my own writing and although parts of it I can explain (the choice of a northern Spain surname for a character, or how to handwave interplanetary biological compatibility) there are other parts that are pretty much a black box and I really don’t KNOW how I wrote that. Which can be frustrating as hell when I want to do it again.

    Then again, sometimes, the writer’s mind is like the cat in an old comic strip I cannot find right now. The owner sees the cat sitting in front of a TV and thinks, “So aloof, so mysterious” and the cat is thinking “I missed Gilligan’s Island?”

  3. futurespastsite Says:

    From the intro to Isaac Asimov’s first autobiographical volume, responding to his editor’s desire for him to write one about his nonliterary life:
    “I said, ‘What nonliterary life? How can a person turn out two hundred books and have a nonliterary life?’
    “Fortunately, she explained it carefully to me so that I could understand what she meant.
    “She said, ‘Shut up, Isaac, and get to work.’
    “So here it is…”
    (It’s worth noting that he turned out quite a few more autobiographical volumes, of great lengths.)

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