Each month I try to clean up my inbox by hitting unsubscribe to groups, companies, people who send me too much email, or email that has no value in enriching my life. I have often gone to unclick from Oprah emails. Telling myself that I do not need to be told how to live every facet of my life by Oprah, yet I always find myself unable to stop. I have lowered the frequency, but always find at least one nugget of information a month, that somehow makes my life better, soothes my soul, or teaches me about myself.
Here is this month’s nugget….
Mary Gaitskill: The best thing about writing is being able to clearly express things in a way you can’t express in conversation. This is especially true if you are socially awkward and a little inarticulate, which I was when I first started to write seriously (at age 23) and is still how I occasionally feel. In countless conversations I have had, someone has said something and I have had several responses at once, sometimes responses that were nonverbal, coming to me in confused masses of feeling, images, and half-formed thoughts that I could not refine into words until, say, sometime the next day. Anything I did say would feel partial to me and often sounded just plain dumb.
Writing is in some way being able to sit down the next day and go through everything you wanted to say, finding the right words, giving shape to the images, and linking them to feelings and thoughts. It isn’t exactly like a social conversation because you aren’t giving information in the usual sense of the word or flirting or persuading anyone of anything or proving a point; it’s more that you are revealing something whole in the form of a character, a city, a moment, an image seen in a flash out of a character’s eyes. It’s being able to take something whole and fiercely alive that exists inside you in some unknowable combination of thought, feeling, physicality, and spirit, and to then store it like a genie in tense, tiny black symbols on a calm white page. If the wrong reader comes across the words, they will remain just words. But for the right readers, your vision blooms off the page and is absorbed into their minds like smoke, where it will re-form, whole and alive, fully adapted to its new environment. It is a deeply satisfying feeling.
These words were like a morning-glory, lifting off the page for me to smell as I took in all the senses and emotions she was trying to convey. She captured EXACTLY how I feel about writing.
‘If the wrong reader comes across the words, they will remain just words. But for the right readers, your vision blooms off the page and is absorbed into their minds like smoke, where it will re-form, whole and alive, fully adapted to its new environment. It is a deeply satisfying feeling.’
I love blogging and writing. Given the chance to write full-time as my job, I would. I can express myself better in words written on paper, on a computer screen, better than I can in *real* life.
The simple act of running writes the story of my life. Thank you for coming along my journey and for reading my words.