Somewhere out there

I’ve said here and in a couple of other places that I sometimes feel as though the stories I write — the especially good ones — seem to exist “out there” somewhere and they are simply being revealed to me to scribble down as best I can.

I say this because sometimes plot resolutions, character developments, and even props and settings that just pop into my brain seem so perfect for what is needed that it is as though the story was already whole before I came to it. I merely discovered what was already there.

I’ve seen other writers mention similar things, some saying that this is a sign that you’re onto something really good. If it is a phenomenon common among writers (and perhaps other creative types?) I can see how it could have spawned the idea of the Muses.

When I say that a story seems to exist “out there” I mean that it only seems to be the case. I’m not attributing any creativity to Muses or other supernatural sources. I suspect the human mind is complex and fascinating enough for the job. Perhaps creative people are simply more in touch with that part of themselves that allows creative thought. (Also, I think creative people need to feed their minds, though how exactly to do this fruitfully is not clear to me. Yet.)

As an example of one of these “out there” moments I can cite this very blog post. I took a break somewhere in the prior paragraph and attended to some other things. As I was busy with them, a name popped into my head: Julian Jaynes. He wrote a a groundbreaking book called The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, which postulated that as recently as 3,000 years ago, humans didn’t have self awareness as we know it now. Their mind was talking to them, but they didn’t know it was internal. They thought it was some external source. Hence Muses and gods by the hundreds.

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One Comment on “Somewhere out there”

  1. Brian Keaney Says:

    I tend to believe in the zeitgeist though I would not like to be pinned down too strictly on what exactly that is.


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