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The Two Distinct Sides to a Writer

I came across an epic quote the other night and I’m dying to share it with you.

My big kids are huge fans of Roald Dahl’s stories. Do you know about Roald Dahl?

I’ll bet you do, even if the name doesn’t ring a bell.

He’s the man behind the classic stories James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. Of course, he wrote mountains of other stuff, but those are the titles you might easily recognize.

We love his stories.

One of the books we have is a collection of six short stories. What’s cool is that one of the stories is how Roald Dahl became a writer.

Tucked inside that story, I found something that I bet anyone who does any kind of creative work will feel.

Check out Roald Dahl’s masterful description of the two distinct sides of a writer. Here’s the first side:

“And it was then that I began to realize for the first time that there are two distinct sides to a writer of fiction. First, there is the side he displays to the public, that of an ordinary person like anyone else, a person who does ordinary things and speaks an ordinary language.”

Then he explains the second side…

“There is the secret side, which comes out in him only after he has closed the door of his workroom and is completely alone.”

I think many of you already know what he’s talking about.

“It is then that he slips into another world altogether, a world where his imagination takes over and he finds himself actually living in the places he is writing about at that moment. I myself, if you want to know, fall into a kind of trance, and everything around me disappears. I see only the point of my pencil moving over the paper…”

And here’s something every writer has experienced:

“…and quite often two hours go by as though they were a couple of seconds.”

Here’s to those of you with a secret side. You’re not alone.

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