Unashamed Writing

Authentic writing from the gut - the studio of a self-taught writer

Isaac Asimov – about the reader and the writer

isaac asimov the true delight quoteI read the short story Dreaming is a Private Thing by Isaac Asimov. There are a few paragraphs where Mr. Asimov talks about what books are to a reader,  and about writers and the source of their ideas. I liked them so I copied them below.

This one is about readers …

In olden times it was books […]. They gave us make-believe, but that wasn’t important. What was important was that for a little while our own imaginations were stimulated. We could think of handsome lovers and beautiful princesses. We could be beautiful, witty, strong, capable, everything we weren’t.

– Isaac Asimov, Dreaming is a Private Thing

… and this is about writers.

Listen. When I was a youngster […] I knew a fellow who wrote television scripts. He would complain bitterly that when someone met him for the first time and found out who he was, they would say: Where do you get those crazy ideas.

They honestly didn’t know. To them it was an impossibility to even think of one of them. So what could my friend say? He used to talk to me about it and tell me: Could I say, I don’t know? When I go to bed, I can’t sleep for ideas dancing in my head. When I shave, I cut myself; when I talk, I lose track of what I’m saying; when I drive, I take my life in my hands. And always because ideas, situations, dialogues are spinning and twisting in my mind. I can’ tell you where I get my ideas. Can you tell me, maybe, your trick of not getting ideas, so I, too, can have a little peace.

– Isaac Asimov, Dreaming is a Private Thing

I haven’t cut myself shaving yet, but I can relate to everything else the “fellow who wrote television scripts” says. For the most part, I like the constant stream of ideas, what-ifs, and why-nots going through my mind. It’s nice to be able to create so many things out of nothing. I love playing around with different scenarios, having arguments with myself when no one else is around for some intellectual fun.

There are times when my overactive imagination can be a burden. Usually, when I need some peace, I can quiet my mind down if I go out for a run, dance like a maniac, or go on a wine tasting tour. But sometimes, that doesn’t work. You don’t want to be around me when that happens. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

All in all though, I’m thankful for my brain and everything it comes up with. It’s a crazy but fun place to be in. At least for me.

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