I’ve been catching up on reading Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, Book One: Quicksilver the last few weeks. During last night’s reading session there was a conversation, between two of the characters, constructing an analogy between a heart pumping blood (both in and out of itself) and certain other characters’ excessive letter-writing with each other, the implication being that the act of writing, and the writing being read, is like pumping blood to and from the vital organs. All of which led me to construct this:
Writers are the heart pumping, circulating blood through the body; their writing is the blood being circulated; the readers are the vital organs and, for that matter, the entire body.
There’s a symbiotic relationship between the blood and the body it travels throughout, including the heart (don’t get too empirical on me here); there’s an identical connection between the writer and the reader. Neither can exist without the other. (I’m not including those who write privately without reading their own work as they write it. Minority that they must be; or, genetic anomaly, to stay within the metaphor.)
It occurs to me just now that this gives new meaning to the phrase “written in blood”.
What do you think?
There have been times when I have vomited words onto paper and never looked at them again or allowed others to look at them.
When I began to journal publicly, though, I developed a completely different relationship with my own writing and the audience. In fact, because I know so much about my audience through the journal community, I am very sensitive to how my words will be received. It is as if sometimes I limp, or favor an elbow…my writing altered by whether it will hurt or affect some larger part of my body. All the while, though, I rely on that audience to bring the words to life. Because, honestly, I can write privately forever…but those creations cannot come to life until someone else has read them…and I, as a writer, am not real flesh and blood, until that need has been appeased. (Although I am certainly flesh and blood as a teacher, or a daughter, or what have you. I cannot be a writer, however, until I have readers.)