edit: This entry is backdated, and was written around 5 PM on the 12th.

Cookiemonger and I have talked recently about writing and telling stories — about our projects, our hopes, our dreams, … all that good stuff. We also talk a bit about our processes, but we’re both interesting, complicated, and easily distracted (I think I prefer, easily interested) individuals, so our conversations have this tendency to wander, despite whatever we may be talking about. It’s wonderful. There’s so much to think about.

In a way, we have lots of micro-conversations, like threads you might find on a forum or in email, that compete, merge, progress, regress, stop, start, sidetrack, and (occasionally) start over again from scratch. One of these threads is the differences between storytelling and writing. It’s difficult to say if we exactly agree, or if we just have very similar ideas, so I’ll say that we’re very much the same and also different, ’cause that’s my whole spiel.

There are some people who just aren’t writers — in the same way that there are some people who aren’t trapeze artists, contortionists, brick-layers, cement-mixers, gardeners, nuclear physicists, and so forth. Writing is a profession, and it’s a profession that requires discipline like any other. Writing is the craft that overlaps with the storytelling talent. Storytelling is more difficult to acquire: it’s you have to have.

There are so many nuances of instinct, things you have to have a fine attention for. You can’t really teach rhythm, like you can’t really teach storytelling. They can be learned, but they must be discovered. You can look, and look, and look for them, maybe even for your entire life, and never find them. I know I don’t have rhythm, so I kind of know what I’m talking about. (Not that I haven’t tried to find it.)