Just a Quote

‘You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.’ – Arthur Polotnik

I like this quote. But personally I don’t write to communicate anything to others. I write because there’s a story inside that I want to read. When I’m writing I’m not thinking about the hearts and minds of others, or to be honest, readers at all. I’m immersed in the story as if I’m watching a movie. I’m engrossed with the characters as if they are friends who either entertain, frustrate, or confound me. I want to know what they’re up to and why.

That part about editing though; I do like that. The concept is more commonly explained as separating wheat from chaff.

You know, I don’t think about readers when I’m editing, either (sorry readers!). During the editing process all I’m doing is reading the editor’s comments and thinking ‘I should have known that’ or ‘why didn’t I see that?’ or ‘man, she’s just made a lot of work for me’ or ‘this story sucks!’. I’m in the process in other words.

So when do I, in my personal writing process, start thinking about the hearts and minds of readers? I guess when the draft goes out to the first beta readers. And then I get nervous. Worried about whether they’ll like the story or the characters. Fearful that the story won’t work the same magic in the reader as it did for me when I was dreaming it.

I guess I’m not one of those brilliant writers who have core themes and messages that they strive to communicate to the wider world in order to change the world or impart some greater societal knowledge. I’m content just telling a story.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Just a Quote

  1. THAT’s what I LOVE about your writing, and You – integrity. You are not compromised by others; that’s self-actualized. I think that is zenith of achievement. After that, reception is a crap shoot. Zeitgeist and all that. I am SO grateful for you hanging IN, out there. The worth of writing shows up one time or another. I’m convinced of that. I’m SO glad you are CONTENT!! 🙂 Pat Larson

    On Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 1:52 PM, Lisa Stowe – The Story River Blog wrote:

    > Lisa posted: “‘You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others > what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the > smoke.’ – Arthur Polotnik I like this quote. But personally I don’t write > to communicate anything to others. I write becau” >

  2. You write to tell a story, to entertain the way it entertained yourself. Not everything has to have a reason. Sometimes we just need a little escape from the real world and your stories are just wonderful to jump into. You and your stories are just perfect the way they are! They attract the right people… 😉

    The quote is awesome!

  3. Hmm… that got me thinking about my own writing. I don’t really write for others, although readers are always on the edges of my mind. I don’t really write to tell a particular story, either. I write to tell truths — my truths. So, even though my truths aren’t very grand, or important, or world-altering, I guess Mr. Polotnik has me pretty well pegged. Thanks for sharing.

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