At the end of this essay, I will be asking for your help in writing a proposal for a new book: “What Writers See: In Life, Language, and Literature.”
What do I mean when I ask the question “What do writers see?”
I once heard of a clever writing prompt given to school children: “If you had a third eye, what could you see?” Writers, I would argue, already have a third eye. They use it to see life, language and literature in special ways.
This third eye has a number of different names. It’s called vision (and then revision), curiosity, inspiration, imagination, visitation of the muse. When an ordinary person says “I see,” she usually means “I understand.” If she’s a writer, she means that and much more.… Read more