There are people who are true magicians.
Not parlor tricks. Not those who try to fool others. Individuals who have ideas and can create stories out of thin air. Very compelling stories. While they walk among us, they work alone, for the most part. They are not collaborative in the work that they do. They toil, grapple, struggle and massage ideas into words in what is a solitary environment, with the hopes that others will feel the same way, share these words and build a community around these stories.
There is something very magical about words, writing and the writer.
Years ago, I considered a life of professional writing. A life where all of my financial outcomes would come from those who would be willing to pay for my words. Looking back, I resigned myself to the fact that it would be a hard life. This was long before the commercialization of the Internet and even longer before the advent of blogging and online publishing. By the time blogging platforms became popular, I had moved on from freelance journalism as my full-time profession. Today, there is no doubt that writing (and actually being paid to write) is a large component of my day, but it acts as an engine of business development and awareness for Twist Image. A way to demonstrate how digital channels offer new and fascinating business solutions to the brands of the world.
Still, the romance.
It’s hard not to dream of a point in my life when my day would begin by opening the patio doors that overlook a quiet lake. I could sit in a solarium, sipping a cafe au lait, listening to the quiet of the earth while reading a book. From there, a brisk walk in the morning air, a quick shower and then off into a study – filled with inspiring artifacts from our culture – to toil away at some words. It’s probably the same type of daydream that most who have the writing bug think about… Or a variation on a theme. It’s probably that kind of thinking that made me fall so madly and deeply in love with The Paris Review. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of reading fiction, but I have this fantasy of living a novelist’s life of toiling with the muse, while writing about life, business, technology and the marketing of things. It is in better understanding how these masters of words write and come up with their concoctions that made me fall in love with Writers At Work – a regular and popular feature of The Paris Review that is an in-depth exposé of the writer’s world. It focuses on their environment and thought process and, regardless of the affinity that you may (or may not) have for the feature’s wordsmith, it is always an education in the craft of writing words and an exploration into the creative life.
Watching the talking of writing.
Recently, Charlie Rose featured a segment on The Paris Review and their 60th anniversary. Whether you dream of renting an apartment in Paris to concoct the next great novel, or whether you are toiling away in a cubicle trying to write some B2B copy for an industrial valves company, you will get something out of this video. Whether or not you care as deeply for words or the writers that this group discusses, is somewhat irrelevant. Watch and listen. What you will see, are people who are trying to change how we think about writing. They’re trying to encourage us to read more. To discover something great that we may have not heard about. If that’s not profoundly linked to the work that you do, I’m not sure what is.
If you love words (or even if you don’t), you should watch this…