Blog of Pulitzer Prize Nominated Author, Jory Sherman. Get the latest information on his books, appearances and his candid reflections on writing.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Last week CBS aired an interview with Bob Dylan. Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes asked Dylan a crucial question after informing us that Dylan has been nominated for a Nobel Prize for his songwriting. Bradley asked Dylan: "Where did it all come from?"

Dylan replied that he didn't know. He indicated that it might have been magic. He sang some lines from one of his songs and said he could not create lyrics like those today. And, perhaps he was right.

I knew what Bob Dylan was talking about. And, such creative forces are difficult to explain. And, in hindsight, even for an artist such as Dlyan, it does seem like magic. But, there is a source, a source I believe in, and I discovered it much in the same way Dylan probably discovered he had all those brilliant lyrics pouring into his mind. He shakes his head now. He probably shook his head back then when he wrote songs down in as little as 10 minutes.

I believe there is just one great Mind in this universe, and we all use it. And, each of us uses it according to our needs and our desires. It is like a giant pool, and we can tap into any part of it and draw from it. It seems, in the beginning, as if it comes from some unknown source. You write something down and say to yourself "now how did I know that?"

When I began writing, the words poured in on me in the form of poetry. It was raw material, without form, but I knew it was magical. I knew that I had tapped into some great Source, and I began to study structure and form and I learned to harness the energy. Dylan had the musical scale and he knew what to do with the words. Once you have a vessel, the words can be arranged, they can form patterns and become substance. In the beginning was the Void and we, as creators, begin to fill that Void.

No, Dylan probably could not write the kinds of lyrics now that he wrote then, but the Source remains there. He has created a different kind of reality since those early times when his vision took him to such wonderful heights. But, if he wished to tap in to the Source, he could.

Consciousness is not something confined to the brain. It exists outside the body. Thought taps into that consciousness and draws from it, paints pictures, writes songs, poems, stories, novels, sculpts statues and objects in a new dimension, our dimension.

There was a time, when I needed money for my recording studio in San Bernardino. I was writing, directing and producing a series of audio dramas on Youth and Drugs and Alcohol and Drugs. To finance the project, since no agency or company would fund me, I wrote short stories for fast money. I wrote 3 short stories a day and sold them all, and they were all published, not once, but several times. In fact, after I moved to Mexico, I lived off those stories for 7 years.

I could not do this today, because I have put too many obstacles in my path. My reality has changed. But, recently, some editors and publishers asked me to write short stories for their anthologies. I opened the tap, and the stories poured forth. One after another, the stories came, and I began to neglect the work on my novel. So, I had to shut off the tap. But, the pool is still there. I can go back. I can tap into it again.

When someone sees a marvelous invention and is ignorant of its workings, it seems to that person that something akin to magic is involved. I have always thought that about writing. Even though I have my theories, I am still amazed at some of the things I write. And, it still seems like magic to me.

I hope I never lose that feeling, that wonder, that awe.

For, even though I may know where it all comes from, I am still amazed. And this is what keeps me going back to the Source each day, what keeps me at the computer writing novels and stories and poetry. And, I believe, you can go home again, and always find what you need.

You need only sit and listen. The music will come.

Jory Sherman


Blogger Sling Words said...

Beautiful! You captured the way I--and probably most writers--feel about the mystery of creation. I'm sure we've all had that same experience of pulling something from the back of a file drawer, reading it, and not recognizing it--then being surprised to discover it was something we'd written.

9:02 AM  

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