The Distinction Between Writer and Author

By John Diamond, M.D.

A writer writes as his Muse dictates. But an author writes for his self – for wealth and fame.

The writer is aware of his social responsibility to enlighten, to be, to a great extent, altruistic. Whereas the author’s intention is to use, to manipulate, his readers.

A dedicated writer can still be turned into an author by the publishers and trade. They author-ize him, whether it was his intention or not, for their own manipulative purposes. All who write and all who publicize writing have a social responsibility.

I have a good friend severely traumatized by his favorite author – yes, not writer – who suicided. Now my friend wants to emulate him. There was no social responsibility in the writings, which became increasingly death-oriented. Nor on the part of the publishers who sensed his disturbance and are now attempting to cash in on the new publicity.

Anyone who communicates publicly has the responsibility as do those who authorize him.

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Writing is Breathing

By John Diamond, M.D.

Beatrice Trum Hunter, a writer I greatly admire, writes me that “Writing is breathing”. Yes! And only a true writer could write that.

In my daily meditation, as I am made aware of my breathing, with each breath I affirm not “I am breathing” but “I am being breathed”. It’s not my doing, it is being done to me.

So I am given to believe, seemingly surrendered in the meditative state to Determinism: that all we appear to do is actually due to what in Buddhism is called, tariki, Other Power acting through us.

Sometimes, in my more meditative moments, I believe this – and at other times I disbelieve it. (But, of course, when in the state, I am given to realize that my believing or not is Determined.)

“Writing is breathing”. And as I do not breathe but am breathed, so I do not write. What appears on the page – on this page – has been written through me.

Yes, writing is as precious, as wondrous, as utterly essential, for Beatrice and me, as breathing. The more so when we are given to realize that all is Other Power.

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