Very interesting dialogue tonight at the writing class. The teacher is a rhetoritician, but also a neuroscientist. She has done a lot of studies on the activity of the brain during the writing process. So during the drafting stage, some people hear a voice, others see text before them, others see a whole document, others can’t explain it, but they know it’s not a voice or visual text. Right away I identified with the voice-hearing people. But I also know I’m very visual, and partly why I didn’t used to like to speak in front of groups was because I panicked when I couldn’t see my words as i spoke them. I’m curious how that relates. I don’t think I see text like some people have described. Certainly not green words on a black background, or something like that. I used to see text when I was writing tests – like a bit of photographic memory. I am definitely hearing these words dictated to me as I type. Generally just the sound of each word as i write the previous one. But isn’t that just my brain thinking? Doesn’t everyone function this way? Why do I write so much more rapidly than some people? The wonders of writing.
Also, some people think writing is intuitive – you’re born a writer. There is an ongoing debate about whether or not this is a myth or a fact. One thing is true – it is in our best interest as writers to say that it’s not something one can learn. Gives us the corner on the market! Having said this, I know language is a gift that I have. I know that I’ve been writing books since I was about 3 or 4. I was binding writing bound and illustrated books as an elementary school student. But it’s a bit late for life stories. More on this another time.