Just Sayin’: ‘How do you do that?’

Since I’ve been  doing this “writing thing,” I’ve had a couple of people ask me, “How do you do that?”

That very question had occurred to me a number of times over the years. I am an avid (my mother called it ‘addictive’) reader so it naturally followed that I would be curious about the people who chose those words and how they got put on a page.

I always imagined that these people (called authors) were some kind of elevated beings who received some sort of special communication from the ethosphere and simply transcribed the words to paper. Then, quite by accident, as a result of a stray comment from Doni, I find myself in the act of writing for public consumption.

So, I gave that question some further thought. For me, it’s kind of like singing. You just use words only you string them together. . . . and trust that they make sense.

Here’s what I can tell you for sure. 1) elevated being I ain’t . . . unless I’m in a plane. 2) there certainly is not  any type of magical communication falling on my ears from any sort of sphere, ethos or otherwise. 3) the act of writing, or for that matter any communication, is absolutely unique to each individual. (here’s one of my pet peeves.  The incorrect use of the word unique.  Of course it’s unique to each individual, because if it were unique to more than one person . . . it wouldn’t be unique!)

All I can tell you for sure, is how it works for me . . . so far. And that sounds presumptuous even to my ears.

For many years, I’ve enjoyed taking my morning coffee and sometimes evening coffee out on my back deck which overlooks the valley and Mt. Lassen. I’ve lived in this house for 29 years. So that’s lots of time spent on the deck. I find that I have these long conversations with the empty chair across from me about whatever is on my mind at the moment. Sometimes it’s conversation with a specific person in mind, but as often as not, it’s just a non-specified entity out there in the ether. I find, that if I run in the house and sit at my computer right away, I can pretty much transcribe the conversation.

Put another way, I have the conversation all over again with my keyboard.

I know that some form of this process must occur on many levels for all you creative types. One hears or visualizes music in their head and you have a need to write it down. Beethoven was probably the classic (pun intended) example of this. Several of his most famous works were written after he became deaf. I know Michelangelo once stated that the figures he sculpted were already in the stone, he just released them.  . . . I’ll bet that the playwright sees his drama being played out on stage. . . . The author watches the story of his novel as it unfolds. It all starts with visualization and/or audialization (yes, that’s a made-up word)  then the artist has to find a way to communicate all that.

WOW, there’s a bit of esoteric balderdash. But you get the idea. I’ll also bet that a lot of you have an artistic cache somewhere inside you that you either use . . . or wish you could use.

Go on, give it a try. Take it from me, it’s never too late to be pleasantly surprised

Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years.
A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes . . . she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.

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Adrienne Jacoby
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years. A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes … she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.
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5 Responses

  1. Avatar CoachBob says:

    I've seen you talking to that empty chair across the deck from you. Scary! But you writes good!

  2. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Go on talk to the deck chair, but if it talks back AJ, you've gone too far. I talk to pictures and have never had one tell me something.

    We've all got a story or two in us to tell and you've got it right. I enjoy your reflections. Please tell us what the deck chair is telling you.

    Budd

  3. Adrienne, I'm so glad you decided to tackle "that writing thing". Lucky us. Thank you!

  4. Avatar Grammalyn says:

    I always enjoy reading or hearing anything you have to say, AJ!

  5. Avatar Sally says:

    Hey AJ – your writing is just like you talk which makes it feel we are having a conversation which I always enjoy having with you. A few years sago, at the old library, there was a series of talks by local writers who, without exception, said they did not lead their characters actions, the characters did it themselves?! So chatter on with your chair, and don't forget to share.