I’m really looking forward to meeting new people at the conference this weekend. It’s a networking event, and that means we’ll be sizing each other up left and right. Writers constantly try to connect the dots and guess at others’ motivations, and other writers provide a fascinating slice of humanity. We spend so much time up in our heads that we can forget what’s expected of us here in the real world. To some degree, we forget to come back to ‘reality’ at all. It helps us question and consider other possibilities.
In order to create really meaningful work, writers learn to suspend themselves between worlds, harvesting intensity from minutiae. We do it in dozens of different ways; insisting on certain music, losing sleep over metaphysics, wearing strange clothes, filling our homes with bladed weapons or drinking soup from wine glasses.
Most people don’t do this. Most people don’t get us, and write us off as strange or too hard to relate to.
This article talks a bit about the fine line between creatives and psychopaths, and mentioned something called “cognitive disinhibition.” Cognitive disinhibition occurs when we’re unable to ignore irrelevant or extraneous information. The inability to ignore those details, coupled with a spoonful of intellect, helps us connect dozens of unrelated dots — from plot construction to new inspiration from amalgamated ideas!
Cognitive disinhibition is nothing to be afraid of. The ideas we extrapolate and chase after are as important as the butterflies that kids chase through meadows. Every butterfly is a concept, a character, a line of poetry. Don’t be discouraged if people look at you like you’re crazy. If they could see the butterflies, they’d chase them too.
“Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.”
— Ray Bradbury
“A specialty of martial arts is to see that which is far away closely; and that which is nearby from a distance.
In martial arts it is important to be aware of opponents’ swords and yet not look at the opponents’ swords at all.
This takes work.”
— Miyamoto Musashi