For Sunday, November 8, 2015:
“Until you know who you are you can’t write.”
Far be it from me to disagree with the venerable Rushdie, but I believe that we write, in part, to learn who we are as individuals and who we are in community. A friend explains it this way:
“I write to mend/those places that got/snagged, ripped or frayed/while being human/with other humans …” (Erika Harris, empathicwriter.com, in “Why I Write,” 2014).
If I had waited to know who I am before I started to write, I’d never have put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. I’d still be waiting. Instead I’ve got drawers and portfolios and notebooks and stray pieces of paper full of my efforts to discover who I was at all the different stages of my life, who I am today, and — most important, I believe — who I am becoming.
This is not to say that we can’t be better writers as we progress in our craft and in our lives. That’s something for which we must always strive. But don’t wait. Get to know who you are today, right now. Discover and understand those around you better, make the world a better place because of your words. Write something now. Today.