“I do not write in order to be understood, I write in order to understand.” – Cecil Day Lewis
Writing is life and death. It is pain and kindness and at the very core of constructing a thought in written form is the composite soul of every human being. We write lists, notes, cards, invitations, announcements, eulogies… We write to congratulate, to apologize, to express gratitude, but more than anything else, we write to both share and to alleviate the sufferings and joys of our daily lives. Through words, we blend our experiences into one long, colorful expression that can give even the most cynical reader a reason to hope.
I suppose that writing allows for us to disguise our flaws in a way, much like angling the camera so that the photo shows only the shiny face and not the deep lines that run in tandem to the shiny part, but, really, doesn’t writing also force those lines into eventual view? And honestly, aren’t the lines and the flaws so much more interesting than the “perfect angle?” I rarely say the right thing; I fumble in the moment sometimes, so I write in order that those thoughts can come, in whatever order they choose, however inappropriate they may be so that I can know myself better. And, by virtue of that, you can know me too…
Good writing forces us to ask questions of ourselves and of the universe. It also allows us to consider our own roles in those questions. Every novel I’ve read has become a part of who I am and how I think and for me, that is what learning and discovery are all about.