October 17, 2019

The Journalist and the Time-Traveler.

For me, writing is a struggle between capturing ideas and composing them.

The Journalist in me arrives at a scene, flips open his pad and just wants to get down the facts. Then the Time-Traveler shows up and starts re-arranging furniture, faces, features.

This frustrates the Journalist.

Much of my work has been learning how to get them to work together.

Ideally, I’m the Editor who gets them to settle on one description of the events.

Typically, I’m the Therapist who gets them to stay in the same room long enough to understand each-other.

When it all comes together it’s music.

I heard someone passionate about jazz, describe jazz, and the feeling they got across is the feeling I get when I write.

In this sense writing is listening and answering with what you hear. Call and response.

The Journalist capturing ideas; The Time-Traveler composing them.


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I generalize. Conversations with me quickly climb the ladder of abstraction. This makes for a open-ended approach that may, or may not satisfy. I