In the last few months or so, the expiring flame of my love for writing was rekindled. I was writing more than I had in the last 20 years. The trusty Notes application on my MacBook has seen a burgeoning number of texts, some a product of raging emotions and others of thoughtful introspection. Maybe it’s what they say about pain translating to poetry (albeit amateurish and occasionally maudlin in my case), I’m not sure; but I know for a fact that writing is a conscious choice I make every day, and damn, it’s the best choice I’ve made yet.
E.L. Doctorow, well-known American novelist of the twentieth century, once described writing as such: “It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Interesting perspective, isn’t it? For the longest time, we’ve been told that we need to know exactly what we’re doing and where we’re going; failure to do so will result in, well, failure. But writing is unlike all of that. Many times, I start writing with completely no clue where it’ll lead me to; I play with words that are intriguing to me, and word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, I weave a tapestry of stories, experiences, expressions. This, I believe, is the formidability of language. Language inspires ideas. Its nuances, no matter how subtle, create layered meanings which evoke and inspire different ideas, from which stories take flight. You don’t have to spend days racking your brain (and wracking your nerves) to achieve clarity. Clarity is birthed out of action. Do I mean that putting pen to paper can transform your mind and life? Yes. So try it. Allow yourself to free-fall into your writing, follow the light of exciting surprise and delightful wonder, discover the unexplored terrains of your heart and of your writing. Don’t be afraid of taking your time. In fact, take as much time as you need.
I urge you to make what would possibly be the best choice in your life. Go forth and write for a curious, worrying, earnest, or simply bored audience, one in need of a maestro capable of weaving words into wonder, making moments into magic. Enthral them, engage their senses, tantalise their minds. Most of all, follow the headlights.