That’s it, end of quip.
I thought of it as i was considering what writing is like, and what this year has been like.
Writing is gazing back and forward at the same time.
The raw material of experience and imagination forms an idea…
In shaping that idea for an audience, i’m looking ahead toward how the past-birthed notion might connect with the reader.
Even if i am its only reader, my future self usually takes something fresh from rereadings of past private expressions.
Personal essay writers and bloggers perpetually distinguish between the “I” and the “we” to decide which of our thoughts to impart.
Two kinds of intimate writing i bristle at…
Starting too many sentences with the phrase (or attitude), “We all…”
Or starting too many sentences with “I” — if they end without drawing me in.
The question is, What makes any one person’s thoughts of interest to another?
I can speak to the qualities that are most likely to leave an impression on me as a reader…
Authenticity — showing me something non-superficial about who you are and how you think.
A fresh angle — revealing a connecting point from which i’m sparked to consider my own experience in a new light.
Coming alongside — letting me see that you get why this might be interesting and relevant to me.
For any of us who write, one topic readily at hand has relevance for nearly all readers, because the year now drawing to a close brought about events offering striking commonality, a clear connecting point.
We immediately understand what is meant by “the Great Before” — and we are beginning to feel hope stirring as the “After Times” finally seem within view.
And just as the coming month’s moniker is derived from the mythological figure depicted above, it’s as fitting a time as any for reflections with eyes fixed on closings as well as renewals.
A supporting echo from nature comes with today’s winter solstice, marking the season’s shortest daylight. It makes me ponder gratefully what has sustained me and those i love thus far, while watching for the daylight to incrementally increase from here.
Everyone has had to figure out their way through this time of disruption.
It’s as though the normal sense of motion is altered, and we don’t get to hear the music of family and friends like we used to.
Like trying to dance while the song is muted; too much is missing, and it’s hard to find the rhythm.
But resilience allows us to pull the song out from memory while perking up our ears listening for its full return.
Know what i mean?