What writing means to me

For someone who has a way with words, I can never find the words to describe to friends what writing means to me.

I try to tell them that it’s sort of like hearing voices, only I hear stories. Only I don’t really hear them or see them. I sense them, the way animals sense a storm approaching.

The stories may be in the distance somewhere, but they’re also in front of me, around me; inside of me. Sometimes they’re not stories at all. They’re just something I pick up with my Sixth Sense. They’re a “knowingness.”

Some days I seem to “know” everything. Every face, object, thought, emotion — all are stories waiting to be told. “Write me! Write me!” they scream.

Other days, my mind “reads” stories I’ve already written, even though I’ve never written them. For example, I sit on a bus and look around at faces, the plastic seats, advertisements and I recognize them as if they were out of a movie I’ve seen dozens of times.

And then there are days when I have what can only be described as “double vision.” I see (sense? hear?) things on two levels. For instance, I hear what someone says but also what they’re not saying. I see a pretty sunset but also see the water molecules in the clouds.

I try to tell my friends these things and they try to understand, or at least not get ticked off when my mind wanders or I dig into my purse for my notebook. But I know I’ll never succeed. Maybe because I myself don’t where the words come from. Heaven? Hell? A past life? A life to come?

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