Marketer, Musician


In his magnificent book On Writing, Stephen King describes makes the amusingly accurate claim that writing is basically telepathy.  “All the arts depend on telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing offers the purest distillation,” he offers.  As an example, he points out that the book is scheduled to be published in late 2000, and that that makes you the reader

…somewhere downstream on the timeline from me… but you’re quite likely in your own far-seeing place, the one where you go to receive telepathic messages.  […]

So let’s assume that you’re in your favorite receiving place just as I am in the place where I do my best transmitting.  WE’ll have to perform our mentalist routine not just over distance but over time as well, yet that presents no real problem; if we can still read Dickens, Shakespeare, and (with the help of a footnote or two) Herodotus, I think we can manage the gap between 1997 and 2000.  And here we go — actual telepathy in action.  You’ll notice I have nothing up my sleeves and that my lips never move.  Neither, most likely, do yours.

He then goes on to prove it by describing a table covered with a red cloth, and a cage on the table with a white rabbit that has a numeral 8 on its back in blue ink, and then dissects how he’s transmitted this image to your brain, even if we fill in our own details.

But by that point I’m already hooked. Telepathy! Who knew? I’m writing thoughts right now at my desk, and they’re being beamed directly into your brain by whatever Black Mirror has commanded your attention right now.  The time-shift doesn’t matter; you are literally able to read my mind.

Writing, for me, is like music; I’d make a career of it if I could, but economic forces and skills with more powerful earning potential have relegated such pursuits to leisure time hobbies. Still, I continue learning more about how to sing, and about how to write… and the best way to excel at either hobby is the same way to get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice.  This may not be the few thousand words a day that King advises for the serious writer-in-training, but it doesn’t matter — telepathy is an amazing trick, and one I want to keep trying to master.

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