"I am the grammarian about whom your mother warned you."
Because first off, you’re not a bug.
- We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little.
- - Anne Lamott
I was dismayed this morning when another blogger mentioned that someone had tried to tell her she shouldn’t have written about a certain topic because it was too sad. The topic in question was an incident that had troubled and upset the writer, and as most of you who read this blog are also writers, you will understand what it feels like to need to say something because it is pressing on your heart.
What we write about is what comes from our core, things that move us. Sometimes those things are very sad, and they make us want to cry and wring our hands or shake our fists at the sky and scream “Why?!”
Our writing is us. And sometimes we are upset, and we sort things out by writing. It’s the equivalent of opening all the windows in our heads and airing out our brains, neatly stacking thoughts where they should go on the various synaptic pathways. Otherwise it’s just all going to lay around all over the place and eventually we’re going to trip over something and do a face-plant. Nothing good can come of that. We are not the kind of people who can simply bury our heads in the sand and pretend something’s not happening.
- A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer.
- - Joseph Conrad
If we had no interest in the world and were content to live in a tiny bubble of our own making, untouched by other passengers on this voyage we wouldn’t be writing at all, because there would be nothing to say. There would be nothing to understand. Nothing would be happening.
But things do happen: to us, because of us, around us. And we are AWARE of those things, and they have an effect on us, whether good or bad. And no one has the right to tell you what you should or should not write.
Because after all, you are not a bug.