The writer’s brain is a terrible thing, a curse and a blessing. I can only speak for myself when I say the curse part. As a writer I’m apt to stand back and watch and not participate in the hopes of getting the whole picture. An example of this happened a long time ago when I watched my daughter one afternoon. We decided to take a drive to the end of Old Mission peninsula. This was a favorite spot of ours, away from the tourist and traffic. The tip of land hosts a modest lighthouse and a stick fence to keep erosion down. As we made our way down the beach my daughter took off, running ahead of me. Her little eyes saw the colony of seagulls that sat in the distance. I watched as her little body pitched and turned like a bowling ball spinning down a sandy lane. The seagulls like pins being flung in the air, only to remain suspended by the wind and her laughter. Why didn’t I run with her? Why didn’t I call out to the gulls with full breaths and ask them to come back. We just wanted to be friends. Why? Because I’m a writer and in my mind, the sight of what was happening meant more to me than the participation. In my writer’s brain I could capture the event better as a third person. But I sometimes regret not running, not participating.
It’s unlike the attention-deficit brain where the occupant’s focus is distracted from one shiny object to another. I have a family member with the attention challenged brain. Once I watched them start breakfast and use the bathroom mirror to fix their hair and decided to get on-line to look up merchandise only to find out that an hour later they were hungry. Because they forgot to eat. Poor, poor brain.
The blessing of the writer’s brain is beguilement. All brains communicate (some better than others) and all brains are creative in their own way. But the writer’s brain can charm and deceive the reader to suspend reality, to believe in the unbelievable. It’s magic. No other profession gets away with this. Can you imagine going to the doctor with a stomach ache and they tell an interesting story about what could be causing the pain? Only to be sent out the door with a good yarn and nothing else? Nope. The beguilement transcends the physical writing component and spills into managing life. A writer can be stuck at the most tedious, boring convention and turn it into a magical playground, picking characters out of the audience. We can beguile our own selves! Write, create, beguile.