Dr.Oliver Sacks is the author of several books about neurological disorders including one made into a movie, Awakenings. If you’ve never seen that movie take the time to find it and watch it (trailer here), you won’t be disappointed. But the best book Sacks wrote is The Man Who Mistook HIs WIfe for a Hat. It is a compilation of his most interesting cases, and in it you meet unforgettable characters. Sacks is a neurologist who writes like a novelist. He cares about his subjects and makes you care about them too. If you are a writer you can’t help yourself – each story, each character is like brain candy, opening up plots and possibilities for more writing. If you don’t write you can end up forever linked to a person more real than Jean Valjean and just as compelling. And, if you don’t write and you don’t connect to any of the characters, you will find out things about our brains more fascinating than Brain Games.
A friend asked me if I was worried about writing so much. “Are you scared you might run out of ideas?” I see his point. Every writer fears the block. Irving Berlin, after a lifetime of success was quoted as saying: “Talent is only a starting point in business. You’ve got to keep working that talent. Someday I’ll reach for it and it won’t be there.” Here is a man who produced more successful work than a reasonable person would even dream about, yet he still feared it would run out. If we write from ourselves and about the world this is a valid fear. The Christian isn’t running on empty though. A Christian runs from fulness toward fulness. A Christian isn’t their own source. In fact, the more a Christian empties themselves, the more room there is for Christ to work; for Life to produce more life.