New Energy

When I saw Alice Walker at the American Library Association Conference in July of last year, she mentioned her need to get out and see how the world is doing though she is most comfortable at home.  She named one of her latest books, The Cushion in the Road.  I think her title means that she will find a comfortable spot as she travels the world when duty calls.

Even though writers often work in isolation, we still have a need to come out of our hovels and connect with others.  People inspire us and the flow of life itself keeps us writing.  We may seem reclusive, but the craft requires time to put it down on paper or screen.   Hemingway spoke of how he wanted to write just as he saw it.  That is a real task.  Sometimes, there are no words to capture the observation or ideas.

I recently watched a special on J.D. Salinger.  As he aged, the townspeople often protected and shielded him from travelers who wanted to get a glimpse of him.  It is still believed that he left some great work somewhere in there. where he wrote and was rarely seen.

 So yes, writers do love the world and they do love people.  But in order to create, writers like turtles, must pull their heads into their shells and try to fill the empty page with believable words.  And, that new muse or new energy can only come from connecting with people.


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