Every time the world seems to be falling apart, whenever something doesn’t seem to make sense, each time I’m left behind with an unresolved situation, I have a lifeline — writing.
“We write to figure out who we are,” Josh Spector wrote in a blog post on what it means to be a writer.
Writing is my way of processing the world. It’s my way of understanding things.
Because writing is not the same as a thought dump (raw thoughts belong in personal journals).
One of my favourite quotes about writing is about how it’s telepathy — getting a thought from one mind into another.
For that transition to happen, raw thoughts have to be distilled.
Sometimes I begin with a question. For example, what is loneliness? Sometimes I start with a thought like superfoods are bullshit, and who knows if it’s a true thought?
This is where research comes in. Writing gives me an excuse to follow my curiosity, go down rabbit holes, figure things out.
Often, the ending is different from what I had in mind.
Even when writing fiction, sometimes my characters surprise me and do something reckless, or something brave, and I think, “Oh gosh, I didn’t know you had it in you.”
And it gives me hope that maybe I’ll surprise myself as well.
“…writers know the best way to figure out what we have to say is to write.”— Josh Spector, For the Interested