Understanding the Eyes

A Guest Post by: D.C. Reed

Before we begin I would like to thank Phil for inviting me to write for all of you today. It is an honor and a great pleasure to do so.

I never thought I would be a creative writer. When I was little I thought I would work with the Circus or at Kroger. In college I trained as a philosopher and musician. And while I work often as a musician, my training in philosophy guided me into creative writing.

For most people philosophy is a dry, esoteric, and greatly misunderstood subject. It is the bane of most undergraduate collegiates and is written off by many as opinionated gobbledy gook that should have disappeared after the ancient Greeks. However my training has given me an insight into the human condition that has helped me overcome the greatest obstacle I have ever faced in writing: the eyes.

Have you ever thought about what a pair of eyes means to a writer?

Our Editor’s eyes scare us as they pick over our beloved manuscript. Our readers’ eyes intrigue us as they inhale our message. Our own eyes trouble us as we dissect every word in our manuscript on a futile trip to perfection.

The eyes measure success and failure. They are our gate into the imagination and open us to a fear that troubles all authors.

Writers young and old always wonder how their manuscript is going to be received. From our first spelling test to our first book report everything we write is graded. We hand in our works to be filled with red ink and torn apart.

From a young age we are conditioned to know that our writing can always be better, and this expectation creates a fear that can seem overwhelming. A fear that leads us not to publish, to over edit, and to even hold our masterpiece hostage so no other eyes will ever see it.

This fear though can be overcome. My strategy to attack this fear comes from a branch of philosophy known as Hermeneutics.

Hermeneutics teaches us that language at its core is always up for interpretation. Every conversation we have, every conversation our reader has with our work, is comprehended through the filters and experiences of our readers. That no matter how hard we try our work will never be read or understood how we see it. We have to understand that every person will see, imagine, and understand our creation, our passion, our tome a little bit differently..

This is not something to be feared though, but embraced. It should free us from the constraints of the unattainable perfection we all search for. A new set of eyes can help us see the flaws in our story that we never see. They can also show us a new beauty and hope in our work that we never saw.

Eyes, like philosophy, are not to be feared, but embraced. They are our gateway to the imagination, the soul, and in the end our end desire: To touch a single reader’s life.

Whether that be by sharing happiness, a message, or to bring a moment of escape and joy. The eyes give us the opportunity to share our gift with the world around us and to share our vision of how things could be.

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I hope you enjoy this little piece. You can check out more of my writing at dcreed.org and please check out my first publication Moral War, which is coming out soon.


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