Friday, May 20, 2011

Say It Again... Thoughts on Writing

I am the moments when I am not being an English major or a literary snob...that from what I do on a regular basis I am already a writer and an editor. I am not yet comfortable enough with you, unknown reader of the interwebs, to share with you all the threads that connect my life, but suffice it to say I do a lot of writing and a fair amount of editing...though I am forced to hold off on taking on too much as it is far too time-consuming when you factor in the time I need to recover my faith in humanity as I trudge through the drivel that some people churn out. Obviously, I am exaggerating...and joking...for the most part. 

Yet there are moments when I know without a doubt that I am a writer. A few minutes ago, before I decided to turn the computer back on and type up this post I was reading through the June 2011 issue of Vogue that just came in the mail today. I had just finished an article by Gully Wells excerpted from her book The House in France (to be published June 21, 2011) and then an article by Julia Glass titled "On Beauty." What struck me most about these articles wasn't how well they were written or how I identified with them but how I didn't fear them. Some of their sentiments (thinking back on their younger selves) echo my own. Some of their words might have been words I might have written. But it didn't send me into a panic. It didn't strike me with existential doubt or worry that I would never be able to write as well as they could or how my writing might simple echo what would be the point? Instead, as Susanna Rowson preaches in Charlotte Temple, in reading their articles I achieved for a moment what Rowson declares all young girls should hope to attain...contentment.

Perhaps in my writing I may say things that others have said before me. But so what? Writers have written what others have written before them without qualms and without fear. Well, exclude plagiarism from that, but you get my point. I may say the same things again, but I'll be saying them in my own voice. An authorial voice. With weight. That means something...even if it's just to me.

In the moments of clarity when I wonder whether I'll be able to pull off the double major and be both a woman of science and fulfill my instinct to write in a professional sense, when I wonder if my work will ever be published and widely read, let alone well-received when the majority of book sales are the purchase of the most popular novels...part of me doesn't really care. That is, I'm not sure if I'm leaving things up to fate and trusting that someday I'll be published or I realize that whether or not I am published will do nothing material in helping to validate my existence...but when I put everything else aside I'm just content to write and to know that I am a writer.

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