Sir, please find herein an open letter to myself and to any other reader, because sometimes we’re caught up in frustrations when with words. Writing, according to some, is ridiculously arduous. I don’t subscribe to this thinking. Manual labour is arduous; the freezing cold is arduous; difficult lives are arduous. Writing, by contrast, is a luxury, albeit one that sometimes frustrates us. It’s something we’ve chosen to do, but it’s also something we’re compelled to do. So, whilst we may have the need to write on subject areas that don’t come easily for us, writing is a warmth. Rather than looking on it as arduous, we should understand a series of acceptances.
Accept your themes
We may push and push for new ideas and new expressions, and this is fine, but we should accept that the themes that constantly manifest in our words are the themes that need to be written. Sometimes, consciously, I write and often, subconsciously, I find I’ve written something entirely different. Let the themes sail through.
Accept your voices
For the duration of a writer’s life, his or her voice may fragment, or become richer, or develop different forms. We think we’re on a definite path, from this naïve voice to this enlightened, deep and textured one. We are many voices. If we try to manipulate our voice this way or the other, we’re left with artificial shapes. We should accept our voices as they rise and fall away.
Accept your dormant times
A writer writes. Yes, of course: how else can the words find their way onto the page? However, there are days when the words won’t be forced. Other necessities of life get in the way. They pile up on words and squeeze their possible lives from them before they’re even ready to fall. We should accept that some days we’re merely incubators. Words can still form, but at other levels. They’ll come.
Accept your failings
Some days we can write the most beautiful lines; some days we’re useless, boneless, dry. The words we write are brittle, dull, or colourless. We should accept that these words are still words, and that they should be placed down, if they come, even though they don’t or won’t shine. All words, born beautiful or dry, are words that need placing. In time, they may re-emerge. In time, we may re-emerge.
Accept your words
Once in a while, one day when we feel naïve, we may think that our words cannot be taken seriously by others. We wonder why we’re writing this at all. We put the words out to the world and realise, suddenly, that the space they’re in now is not just the space on this one small screen. We should accept that words no longer belong to us alone when ‘out there’. We should let them go to find their own way, no matter how naïve we may feel ourselves.
Acceptance helps us.
You can lie to your wife or your boss, but you cannot lie to your typewriter. Sooner or later you must reveal your true self in your pages.