Today let's switch gears just a bit and look at Anne Lamott’s thoughts about the posture of the writer towards the world as found in the well-loved guide BIRD BY BIRD.
The posture of the writer towards the world
Meaning in misery, goodness in anguish... this is a big deal, right? We all suffer hardships and loss, and so do those we love--our friends, our families, our children. But what about those we never see
face to face, half-way across the world or shut away in homes for the mentally ill or living in fear of a tyrannical regime. And then there are the very extreme cases, the Holocaust, famine, religious persecution and martyrdom.
How do we, as writers, find our way through the muck? How do we create hope?
To be a good writer, you not only have to write a great deal but you have to care. You do not have to have a complicated moral philosophy. But a writer always tries, I think, to be part of the solution, to understand a little about life and pass this on (107).
So if Lamott is right, and we are first and foremost to care, then we can't be self-protective. We must live in the trenches. We must face reality. We can't escape to our towers and look at the world as through a mirror (see reference to Lady of Shalott from Part I here).
But perhaps our work can be a mirror. Perhaps it can be that object which reflects, not just the shape and color of reality, but the truths underlying it.
And perhaps the writer's posture towards the world is really, at its best, not a posture at all, but instead an action, a striding forth, a choice and a hope that we, and the things we create, just might be part of the solution.
So I've got two questions for you this week:
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