Athletes talk about getting into the zone. That’s a place where the athlete flows with the game, where they become so focused that all their mental and physical powers take them to a new level. Writers and artists experience something similar. They go into a mental state where the story or the art just flows through their fingertips in an intense state of concentration. Many writers experience this. It is a place where imagination takes over the mind.
Some writers say that when they get into the zone that in fact they are not writing the story. Instead, they say that it is the characters that are telling the story. This state of writing becomes an intense creative flow. Some writers know what I’m describing hereiption. It is a place of imagination where new worlds are created, where the scenes and dialog just spill onto the page. Have you ever been in that state? Full time writers live there much of the time. I’m not sure universities teach this?
Every year I spend time in countries that people call “emerging economies” and also in “developed economies”. With the current difficult economic climate it seems that developed economies have in fact become “declining economies”. It makes me wonder if things are declining not only because of bad political and business decisions, but because of something more foundational. Does it have to do with shifting philosophical presuppositions? In other words, does the declining economic climate have go do with the change in belief systems, particularly in the Western world that has shifted from modernism to postmodernism? In other words, has the shift in belief systems impacted the way we live, and through that does it have an influence on our economic condition? Many people shy away from questioning belief systems because of a paradigm that says all beliefs are the same, or because of political correctness or whatever. But these are questions I like to ask and they are reflected in my stories.
What does it mean to be a writer? Simply put, it is an attempt to capture the inexpressible and put it into words. Are words inadequate? Yes. But, words can raise armies, cause a laugh, and bring people together in love.
What does it mean to be a fiction writer? Basically, it is to tell a story. But more than that, fiction is a window to the soul. Think of the Grimm Brothers stories, simple tales that carry deep lessons about life. Therefore the task of the fiction writer is not only to tell the story, but to challenge the reader to think in new ways. Good stories leave an afterthought. Great stories change the world.