I’ve often compared writing to having a child you cherish and protect, the way a bear defends her cub.
An art, according to Webster, is a skill doing a specified thing, improved through practice.
It’s personal, no matter the packaging, and writing, next to painting and composing, has earned her rightful place.
It’s also a skill that you love, and one that others should respect, whether your prose is their cup of tea or not. I say this to urge those to pause before criticizing…to simply move to another shelf where you’re bound to find something more to your liking.
Casual criticism hurts, like an arrow to the heart.
The written word, mine or someone else’s, has been keeping me afloat during this lonely time.
If I’m not writing, I’m reading, allowing words to comfort and console.
Ray Bradbury said, You must stay drunk on writing, so reality can’t destroy you.
How’s that for prophetic?
When I say read, I don’t mean the internet whose goal seems to be to weaken and scare. I’m talking Hemingway, Hamill, Hammett, and Twain. Christie, Austen, Dumas and McCullough who, to quote Anais Nin, wrote to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
These feel like biblical times, as if the Book of Revelations has had a reprint.
We must remember, those who came before us, survived many moments in history that too, shook their world. Think of what life was like before Penicillin, along with Polio and Small Pox vaccines.
Teddy Roosevelt lost both his wife and mother on the same day because there were neither.
Terror must have reigned, as people went about their lives as best they could.
I think of Lincoln riding the train to Gettysburg to dedicate its new cemetery, still in mourning for his son, Willie, who died of Typhoid at age 12, writing his iconic Gettysburg address on a napkin, and how his pain must have influenced those 271 words.
Writing what we feel at this point of time, whether in a diary, a blog, or book not yet penned, will lessen the fear…to put it all down, shaking out your heart onto the page so it stays open, when it so wants to slam shut.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you…Maya Angelou.