Sunday, December 23, 2012

Becoming a Writer

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, "I name you three metamorphoses of the spirit: how the spirit shall become a camel, and the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child."

These metaphors describe various stages in the transformation of human consciousness. For Nietzsche, nothing is static; all is in flux and becoming.

A camel is a beast of burden. It accepts a load and goes days through the desert without water. The camel-image seems to refer to the human tendency to confront the difficult out of a sense of duty.

We are constantly becoming writers.

Writers learn grammar and technique from others. We gain the tradition and culture of literature. At this stage we do not have the freedom to make our own decisions because we give our will over to what we believe, "we ought to do." By following the rules we move on a path for further refinement.

Then the lion-like spirit takes over. The creative freedom arises as a writer discovers confidence and rebels.

The lion becomes a child.  A return to innocence energizes. Now the writer can engage in original ideas without restraint. 

We may need to shuttle back and forth in the progression to gain the most in our writing.

Creative Write:  Have you gone through this process as a writer from obedience through reaction to a child's wonder?  Where are you in the process? Do you risk and struggle with uncertainty?  

Develop a metaphor to describe your trip through camel and lion to child.

No comments:

Post a Comment