Like the film Six Degrees of Separation and the parlour game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, sometimes even writing a blog can be a journey that comes full circle:
1. Starting with my own blog, I wanted a quote from an author about writing about characters.
2. My search led me to Goodreads, where I found a lot of good quotes, including this one that I didn’t use: “By the end, you should be inside your character, actually operating from within somebody else, and knowing him pretty well, as that person knows himself or herself. You’re sort of a predator, an invader of people.”
― William Trevor
3. The quote I did use, from John Rogers, led me to his website and blog. Since I’m a fan of TNT’s show Leverage (Mr. Rogers is a writer and exec producer for the show), I read his blog, “Leverage #509 “The Rundown Job” post-game“, in which he writes about a scene inspired by his friend who’d recently died, which was moving and not at all maudlin.
4. Reading his recommended list of blogs, I checked out Jon Swift’s blog. The last post here was from March 19, 2009, but it had a link I could not ignore, so I followed it…
5. To Chuck Butcher’s blog, and his post about his son, Nicholas Andrew Butcher’s, suicide. Already moved by John Rogers’ blog, Chuck’s honest, tragic account brought me to tears.
6. I noticed Chuck’s “About Me” sidebar, in which he wrote: “If you think you’ve figured a niche for me, you’ve no clue.” At first, this struck me as ironic because, for the past 3 blogs, I’ve been writing about figuring people out, striving for understanding, walking in each other’s shoes, etc. And here Chuck is telling me I’ll never succeed. But then I realized that wasn’t his message – like most of us, he doesn’t want to be labeled, pigeon-holed, or limited – which is a lovely and fitting post-script to this Secret World series. Strive for understanding of your fellow human beings but, please, no niche-ing.
6.5 Bonus Discovery: Kevin Bacon took the silly parlour game with his name on it and created something worthwhile – a charitable initiative: SixDegrees.org – check it out!