As I was getting ready this morning, I thought, as I frequently do, about writing. I thought about what it means to be a writer. What allows someone the right to describe themselves as truly being one? Is it either in you or it’s not? What, if anything, makes me predisposed to a passion for words? What allows my mind to find escape in the thoughts every word leads me to while fervidly searching for the right words which would release me from them?
I thought about this. And I thought of all the times writing has saved my life. I think about the trials I’ve just written my way through, scared to death of what might happen if anyone had actually been privy to my inner modus operandi. Some I have been willing to share; most, not. And yet here I am… putting my work out there in hopes that it will make me a better writer, a better observer. Because that, truly, is what a writer is.
A writer notices what most would never care to notice. A writer breathes and bleeds for experience knowing that each one could lead them to another story line, another plot, a final solution to their dilemma; each detail crucial to what will later be revealed providing, at last, a sense of closure.
Now I don’t write fiction. I find way too much inspiration in my own life and in the world around me to feel compelled to write about things that have happened only in my imagination. However, thank the heavens there are minds like that for allowing one to escape if but for a moment. Through characters, we can learn so much about ourselves by seeing traits of us in them. We can learn from their mistakes by recognizing them as similar to ours. And we can better understand those around us by allowing us to get inside the mind of a character resembling someone we may know and care about, as disparate as they may be.
Writing is a way of relating with the world. It’s a way of connecting as an outsider. Words give me hope. They give me purpose. The truth is, I am in awe pretty much every moment of every day that any of this is actually happening. Is this really happening? There’s so much chaos. So much struggle. So much love and so much beauty. I write to make sense of it all.