Writing to Know Me


I, like many, write to grow myself and grow knowledge not only of all that’s out there but also of all that’s on my mind.

Novelist Judith Guest in the Foreword to Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones writes: “It is easy to lose sight of the fact that writers do not write to impart knowledge to others; rather, they write to inform themselves.”

That may seem egocentric, but isn’t that all that anyone can be? I read writing advice daily: write for others, give readers something to chew on; enrich them. Well I, for one, know that I may never sit down to write with my readers’ benefit in mind. That I could not do. I would write not one word (and did not for decades) with so much burden, so much expectation.

Besides, it’s presumptuous to believe I have anything to offer my reader–knowledge, advice, tips, beauty–beyond my human experience. I offer one person’s view of one person’s observations.

After I have sent something out there–to be read–then, that is when I send my hopes and wishes that someone somewhere finds something in my words, something worth the time spent reading them. But if I wrote with that same desire, that my recollections reach a reader, I would not write for fear of disappointing.

Anyone out there? (sound of crickets)

2 Replies to “Writing to Know Me”

  1. I’ve begun writing recently after a long era of ‘someday’s. It’s become my whittling. I talk to or with myself in angry tirades and reflective conversations. But often I just giggle. It’s all fun. Seriously.

    1. As it should be. I sometimes forget the fun part when I’m anxious to produce, especially writing under deadline. Then it feels like pure struggle until it’s finished, which feels like huge relief. But squeezing creativity from loin and limb is both ticklish and grim depending on the day.

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