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|The legacy of a writer|
|Saturday, 14 July 2012 20:11|
AS I sat looking at the BBC News, what was scrolling at the bottom of the television, caught my eyes. It read: “The Brother of Marcia Gabriel Marquez, a Colombian laureate is suffering from dementia and has stopped writing.”
And I thought, “What a terrible loss for the nation; more so as he is the winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize!” But let’s look at the positive side of it: This man may be incapacitated. He may be brain dead. He may even die!! But we all know that whatever he wrote will live forever.
I love to write. Recently, I called my friend, a retired educator. I know he had a dream to write a book to share his experiences, so I asked him if he was still going to write that book. “Yes,” he said. He had been doing so for five years now.
Mary Rose, my classmate from the Interior, versed in language and communication, and well spoken, told me of her dream to become a writer. And I can cite a number of other persons, including myself, whose unceasing desire is to write; to write a book. However, it’s still a dream awaiting manifestation.
And it is interesting to note the increasing number of men and women who are now stepping out in the world of literature to join this coveted role of journalists, authors and publishers. More and more people are willing to write, and are coming up with ideas on all sorts of issues. It’s great!
But being a writer is not always easy; in some ways it is difficult. It takes time away from everything, and an otherwise social life. Sometimes people say you have to go it alone; it’s a lonely journey. Others do not accept the fact that you just want to be alone; to shut the door; to sit in the park, under the tree, in the library for hours; or glued to your seat on the computer behind closed doors; your wilderness, and away from the fray; just to be with that little world inside your mind. As one writer puts it, “Usually, more than one world.” There you go! In reality, a writer can never be really lonely; not with all those other characters.
“But why do you write?” I asked my friend. She smiled excitedly, oblivious to the fact that I was standing there, and said simply, “I have to write because the ideas inside my mind just have to come out and be written down.”
According to Associated Content.com, “Writing is a release; a way of allowing the thoughts in a person’s mind to be brought to life on paper. That which existed only in the writer’s psyche is suddenly made real when it takes the form of written words.” Writing brings out the creative genius in a person; they are able to put their thoughts and ideas in perspective. The process of writing frees these feelings, while at the same time permitting more creativity to flow through. It is a form of freedom for those who engage in it, as well as a creative vehicle.
It’s fun too! You can travel to see some of the most picturesque scenes in Guyana, the Niagara Falls in Canada, or up the 354 winding stairs of the Statute of Liberty on Staten Island; places where no one else but you can go through your imagination and creativity to bring a plot together. Writers enjoy writing about their characters, because they can relate to the feeling of the character. Sometimes an author will design a character after himself or herself; they also like a certain type of genre for the story, so they enjoy taking a story’s plot and creating their own ideas into it.
Sometimes I just write because I want to. I start by writing, never even knowing where I’m headed. Sometimes my pen goes so fast, I just can’t stop it; I just let myself go. And, as ideas begin to form, my mind simply races; my pulse begins to beat with excitement. It’s my creative juices at work, and the words flow. Then when I become exhausted and my passion subsides and my words come alive, I select my audience. Now I’m ready to write with a purpose.
But wait! Writing can also drive fear into a person, make someone else think about a problem or mystery, and make others scared. It can invent a world and characters to go with it; to imagine what they would do in a situation, or just merely share information with others.
It can be depressing as well, in that words can sometimes be used as a two-edged sword. You may not always write the things that people want to hear, and sometimes you can be incarcerated for your actions. Your words can connect to an audience and cause change. By speaking out, those in authority may feel you are setting an agenda that is not in keeping with theirs, to the point where they may even think you are messing with minds, defeating their purposes. And sometimes the truth can hurt, and so they retaliate.
As a writer, I am reminded of a seamstress or a tailor at work; I am reminded of a craftsman, and Michael Phleps, the athlete in the water. I am reminded of the remedial teacher and his unending patience, and much like artists, I have a sense of freedom that makes me feel whole, purposeful and at ease.
Humanly speaking, the Holy Bible was beautifully written by approximately 40 men of diverse backgrounds over the course of 1500 years. Among them was Isaiah, who was a prophet. And Ezra was a priest, Matthew a tax-collector, John a fisherman, Paul a tentmaker, and Moses a shepherd. Luke was a physician.
We are told in Second Timothy 3:16 that the Bible was “breathed out” by God, and that God superintended the human authors of the Bible so that while using their own writing styles and personalities, they still recorded exactly what God intended. The Bible was not dictated by God, but it was perfectly guided and entirely inspired by Him.
Despite being penned by different authors over 15 centuries, the Bible does not contradict itself, and does not contain any errors. The authors all present different perspectives, but they all proclaim the same one true God, and the same one way of salvation—Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
I remember working with a legal luminary, who was undoubtedly an elegant writer. He used a lot of unusual words which I would look up and add to my vocabulary. Sometimes I would confuse his words with words I had known, but they were often technically different. He definitely had a great command of words. As his personal assistant, I was not only intimidated by the words, but by the grammar also. And so I would go to one of his peers whenever I had a problem, and one day he said to me: “Read and study the Bible.” I never had cause to go back to him. I read my bible in a new light. And I have never forgotten that which he shared with me.
Aristotle, the Greek Philosopher and writer, has died. And so has Ray Bradbury at the age of 91 after a lengthy career of writing on just about every subject imaginable, from science fiction and mystery to humour. Geoffrey Chaucer and Margery Kempe have both died as well, and the list continues. Have the books, ‘The Evolution of the Negro’ by Norman E. Cameron, and Guy E. L. De Weever’s ‘Children’s Story of Guyana’ been taken off the shelves of our schools, libraries and universities?
That’s why I love to write.