Jag hittade en trevlig liten essä i The New York Times.
[Writers] don’t have to be brilliant conversationalists; it’s not their job to be smart except, of course, when they write. Hazlitt, that most self-conscious of writers, remarked that he did not see why an author “is bound to talk, any more than he is bound to dance, or ride, or fence better than other people. Reading, study, silence, thought are a bad introduction to loquacity.”
Detta är ju skönt att få bekräftat om man är så asocial och overbal som jag. Men mer intressant är kopplingen mellan skrivandet och tänkandet i sig. Jag har alltid upplevt att jag tänker medan jag skriver, eller snarare att det nästintill är en och samma process. Det är ovanligt att jag har en färdig tanke som helt enkelt bara ska sättas på papper, och även när jag tror att jag har det så blir slutresultatet ändå något helt annat, för tankarna föds ur pennans spets.
Like most writers, I seem to be smarter in print than in person. In fact, I am smarter when I’m writing. I don’t claim this merely because there is usually no one around to observe the false starts and groan-inducing sentences that make a mockery of my presumed intelligence, but because when the work is going well, I’m expressing opinions that I’ve never uttered in conversation and that otherwise might never occur to me. Nor am I the first to have this thought, which, naturally, occurred to me while composing. According to Edgar Allan Poe, writing in Graham’s Magazine, “Some Frenchman — possibly Montaigne — says: ‘People talk about thinking, but for my part I never think except when I sit down to write’.”
[Maybe] it’s just that the flow of thought alters when we write, which, in turn, releases sentences hidden along the banks of consciousness. There seems to be a rhythm to writing that catches notes that ordinarily stay out of earshot. At some point between formulating a thought and writing it down falls a nanosecond when the thought becomes a sentence that would, in all likelihood, have a different shape if we were to speak it. This rhythm, not so much heard as felt, occurs only when one is composing; it can’t be simulated in speech, since speaking takes place in real time and depends in part on the person or persons we’re speaking to. Wonderful writers might therefore turn out to be only so-so conversationalists, and people capable of telling great stories waddle like ducks out of water when they attempt to write.