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Writing

The past few rainy days have been perfect for staying cozily inside with a cup of tea. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit curled up on the couch, with Nora in my lap, reading and writing, which I guess has been good for this blog.

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A few days ago, I finished Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. I absolutely love what she says on the final page

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed our soul.”

While I’ve always loved reading, since finishing my academic career, I’ve come to appreciate it as part of my life-long love of learning. While still in school, this type of passion among adults always puzzled me, but since then I find myself among the ranks. I am constantly reading a new book, tuning in to public radio, delving into articles and blog posts online, or listening to a podcast.

And it’s in writing that I make sense of what I’m learning and experiencing. I’ve been composing stories since before I could even write (some evidence here) and I haven’t stopped. Sometimes my writing has manifested in fictional stories, or in diaries, or poetry (especially in my high school years), travel journals and memoirs, or in academic essays.

Writing is just something I do. Sure, I get writer’s block. Lamott believes it’s really an emptiness, and tells us to give ourselves time to fill up. I fill myself up with life experiences, such as a run through the woods, a new book, an experiment in the kitchen, travel, or simply the interactions I have with others.

I will always write, whether others read my writing or not. I think I would continue this blog even if no one read it, not even my parents, not even my husband.

Another parting thought from Lamott,

“…to have written your version is an honorable thing to have done….You don’t even have to know how or in what way, but if you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find and doing the best you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like its own little lighthouse. Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”

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