I'll start explaining the title's formula with the word "strange". Its history shows it meaning, "from elsewhere, foreign, unknown, unfamiliar".

A Strange Life...

So does reading then writing then publishing then repeating the process create a life that's unfamiliar, unknown, foreign, and from elsewhere?

Ask any serious writer :-)

The reason I started this little explanatory formula with reading is because I'm in agreement with the folks who say the best training for writing (besides writing itself) is lots of reading. Of course, reading might also be the research that writers often do--even the kind of "reading" they do in their own minds when they invent characters and worlds.

This reading of one's own mind isn't all that hard. It is strange, though, because it usually doesn't involve words. It's the heart reading what the mind is saying from its depths.

So, then comes the writing. If you aspire to create a wonderfully strange life, I suggest you not read a bunch of books about writing before you actually do a whole bunch of writing. In fact, the formula should have a little feedback loop between reading and writing: read>write>read>write, etc.

Then, publish. This doesn't have to be normal publishing. Since the word means, "to make public" and public means, "open to the community", the community you publish to could be as small as a group of friends.

Then comes repeat. If you want a truly wonderful life that constantly surprises you with the unfamiliar, that leads you to the unknown, that introduces the foreign, and entertains experience from elsewhere, you have to get a cycle of read/write/publish going.

Think of a coffee house. Imagine the person who reads books, then shares their experience in their own words. Every time you visit, they have a new story. Pretty soon, they're telling their own stories. By the way, one of the original meanings for the word "write" was "paint".

So, there they sit reading their own minds with their hearts and painting verbal pictures that inspire the little coffee house community.

The first people who led a wonderfully strange life may not have had coffee, but they had their community. They spoke heart-felt words that captivated their friends.

They were our human family's first authors...

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Follow the co-author of Notes from An Alien, Sena Quaren:
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