Become a Pirate or a Bookhunter.

The thing about the internet is that it shows me how boring and safe my life really is.  Of course, I’ve worked hard to make it this way since childhood has enough craziness for anybody.  One last quote from the great and fun novel I finished reading this evening–The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers.

“Now that I come to write the story down I’m even more frightened than I was in that jar.  I just don’t understand it.  I was supposed to experience something so as to able to write about it, but now…”

“Writers are there to write, not experience things.  If you want to experience things, become a pirate or a Bookhunter.  If you want to write, write.  If you can’t find the makings of a story inside yourself, you won’t find them anywhere.”


 So now I don’t need to feel inadequate for the lack of drama in my exterior life because I’ve got plenty of stories within.  How about you? 

5 thoughts on “Become a Pirate or a Bookhunter.

  1. Hmm… I don’t know about writers not experiencing things. I read a quote one time that adventures happen to people who notice. Writers are people who notice.

    Perhaps “experience” can simply mean being aware, listening, watching. I consider those activities the most important part of my writing.

    I don’t court drama and I have a quiet life, too. But things happen. My dad died suddenly and now I see the world differently having lived through that grief. I experienced the drama of giving birth, and boy do I see things differently after becoming a parent. Two planes crashed into buildings in my city, and I long for the way I used to see the world before that day. Everyone experiences drama whether they want to or not, as I know you know. And I truly think these experiences – even though painful – improved my writing. Perhaps it’s just the gift of gaining compassion after living through dramatic experiences that makes for better writing.

    I have to think about this some more. Interesting topic.

  2. The end of that quote reminds me of Glenda the Good Witch and her speech to Dorthy before the famous line, “There’s no place like home.”

    The “homes” we make for ourselves as well as our stories, come forth after being forged within.
    I think writing can be a way to reveal the interior story in us all. (as with all the arts)

    On the other hand – it doesn’t hurt to redecorate that interior every so often with inspiration…

    Thanks for putting this out there for the thinking!

  3. I like what SBW said. We all have stories/experiences in us. But it’s frustrating when I read other writers and learn about their lives, and I realize what great stories they have lived! Not that I want the drama in my life, but I would like to write better stories…

  4. I agree, SBW. Writers have to pay attention, to notice, like a journalist–and a journalist observes but doesn’t “get involved.” Or so they say. Well, I think we do have to have experiences, but eventually you have to choose between going out to do something and staying home to write something down.

    Anyway, you’ve got to read The City of Dreaming Books to really get the context of that quote. The character who said become a pirate or a Bookhunter had put the main character through hell, just so he could have something to write about…so, there was some contradiction in his advice.

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