Let me turn the clock back a few decades. You can get away with this stuff when you’re an old geezer. As always, I’ll try to keep the story as short as possible.
Back then, I had a small corner of my house that got turned into a writer’s sanctuary. Every writer needs one, big or small. I also had the rather strange habit of writing at all hours of the day or night. It wasn’t unusual for me to get out of bed at two in the morning and shuffle down to the sanctuary for some writing. Fortunately, my long-suffering wife was able to sleep through most of this chaos, as well as the other peculiar habits that writers often develop.
One night (or was it early morning?) I found my wife standing in my sanctuary with a strange look in her eyes. This was something she never did, walk in on me during those frenetic hours of writing.
“Who are you talking to?” she asked.
Huh? I was talking?
“You do it all the time,” she said, answering the obvious puzzlement on my face.
Well, it was true but I hadn’t realized the meaning of it all. I had developed an Inner Writer. In this case, it was a woman, a character in the fiction novel I was writing. Somehow, I had turned over much of the writing work to her. She had become so real, so energetic, so much in tune with the storyline that she had taken over the reins. I had been talking to one of my characters and she had been guiding my pen. How this first happened, I could not say. I just knew that it was important and I wanted to understand the process and the meaning.
My first thought was that I had succumbed to some strange psychotic state, some nether land that would swallow me whole. But, I still felt the same about the world. Everything seemed to be in the right place, the people I knew were still there, my wife still loved me. All was well with the world. I decided that this whole epiphany had some important meaning, some purpose.
My friend, the Inner Writer. I still remember the night we met. Well, I should say “friends” since she was not the last, just the first. There have been several Inner Writers since that night. Many years later, I would learn the technique of waking up my Inner Writer (see the post about Finding Your Voice). I would come to share this strange habit with other writers when I would hold a writers workshop, or just sit around with friends who also loved to write. Now, whenever I sit down to work on a major project, I spend time creating and awakening my Inner Writer before I put pen to paper.
I’ve been blessed with many people in my life who love me and who I love. Among them is my small collection of Inner Writers. I remember them all and carry them all with me to this day.