In Search of the Obscure

I like writing.

I like writing because it gives me purpose to research and explore just about anything I fancy.

What it also does is it creates this anonymity of spirit – this flexible line of thought that allows for writers to entertain all sorts of interesting ideas. Terribly nefarious ideas, or dystopian ideas or sweetly sentimental ideas for a children’s book.

Writing allows me to research every obscure topic I can think of, with a motive and an end goal.

I’m not a prolific writer of murder mystery novels, but if I were, looking up how to commit the perfect crime might be something I’d have to consider.

I like writing because it allows me to explore all the concepts or behaviours that I wouldn’t normally otherwise, with the added bonus of not actually life-endangering or even involve much labour.

I can experiment with drugs or alcohol, I can travel through galaxies, I can wander through the mind of a manipulative madman, all just by writing.

(I should say that I like reading for the same reason. Because it allows me to live vicariously through characters and their experiences, the protagonist often being used as a platform for any author. My writing is often never up to par and as such, reading is always a much finer pleasure than writing but writing is a pleasure nonetheless.)

I like writing because I get to research things I wouldn’t normally – Houses in Finland, mindfulness, red lipstick, London cigarette brands…

The research process can be arduous and tends to produce more unresolved questions than proper answers, but it doesn’t worry me. I like to find things out. I like to clarify. Research adds depth and detail to my writing that otherwise would be omitted. Detail and depth are really important aspects for my writing to have, because I feel it’s important for a writer to know as much as possible about a world before creating it.

And somewhere, out there, in this little world, someone will spot one or two details and be grateful – and that’s enough. That makes it worth it.

I like to strengthen my craft as much as I can, but I relish the opportunity to write a life I might never live – the challenge of it, the anonymity of the voice in the finished product.

… On that note, I should probably go look up some pagan lore concepts I was thinking about a while ago. I have some unfinished business with a 35-year-old man and his feline familiar.

… or something like that.

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