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READER RETURNS

January 18th, 2020

 

A great professor once said that authors simply write the same book over and over.  Each book is simply an attempt to capture something more and more accurately.  To word the underlying truth with more elegance or simplicity.

 

Alas aren’t the stories of Shakespeare’s plays all derived from prior stories?  It’s perhaps the best example that the story actually doesn’t matter, it’s the human truth that can be evoked by using the story.

 

Each writer digs into themselves interminably.  The well of inspiration, once struck is an infinity game that can be mined forever, but always at the peril of never exactly finding what the words search for. 

 

It’s no different than the addict who chases the perfect high.  The behavior is much the same in it’s routine and it’s quest.  It’s simply the effect on health and the outcome that is different. 

 

The writer pursues and produces; the addict pursues and consumes.

 

There’s a whole onslaught of nouns, both positive and negative that might slide sensibly into that last sentence.

 

The crucial difference is that the writer isn’t worse for the wear, and actually comes out of the experience with something that can be shared, or better yet, something that might help support the virtuous addiction into tomorrow.

 

And why does the reader return?  Why do some like Hardy and others Hemmingway?  Though they might dabble in the other, why do we return to the writers that we like?

 

Why do our minds light up with possibility when a favorite author releases something new?  If that professor at the beginning is correct, aren’t they writing about the same old thing again?

 

Perhaps.

 

But this time they might get closer to that tantalizing goal, the terminus of that Sisyphean task.

 

Or, it might be that each iteration that pours from the pen is trying to cover ground.

 

It’s always a surprise when someone remarks on an episode of Tinkered Thinking that before hand was gladly swept away into the archives for missing the mark.

 

Different things can resonate unexpectedly with other people.

 

What feels like a missed mark for the author might be a bull’s eye for a quiet anonymous reader.

 

But who’s to say.

 

All the writer can do is,

 

keep writing.


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Podcast Ep. 643: Reader Returns

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