“You are — your life, and nothing else.”

Photo by Alexandra on Unsplash

To become a writer, I had to learn to interrupt, to speak up, to speak a little louder, and then louder, and then to just speak in my own voice which is not loud at all.”

It’s been a while since I have posted a blog article. I have been meaning to quite some time now. Many ideas constantly clutter my headspace. Loud, obnoxious, and furious ideas begging to be released into the world.

Would the world care?

.   .   .

I often find myself waiting for the perfect moment to write. I tell myself that tomorrow will be the perfect day for writing, with a fresh start. I will wake up at dawn, and sit with a cup of coffee to write for hours before I head to work. It is the idealized writer’s routine. 

Still, tomorrow never comes, at  least not the way I intended it. Tomorrow is only the perfect moment in my head.

I dream of the perfect moment of ample inspiration to come out of nowhere with the perfect article magically appearing in my head ready to be released into the world. I imagine myself furiously typing out the words on my keyboard.

Both moments are equally rare.

.   .   .

Right before I sat down to write this very piece, I told myself I could just do it tomorrow instead, a plot by my brain to avoid going through the painful process of putting my ideas and thoughts into words and releasing them to the world wide web.

My brain is a pro at convincing me it’s much better, and more fun, to scroll through mindless but entertaining online content until I fall asleep from sheer screen-exhaustion. I often fall for it because it is much painless compared to exposing myself through my writing.

Tonight, however, it felt right to write.

I pulled out my laptop. I thought about writing tomorrow instead, but began typing the words anyway.

.   .   .

Earlier today, I impulsively bought a book I found while looking for Michelle Obama’s Becoming to gift to a friend (a must read!).

The book was titled Things I Don’t Want to Know: On Writing, the first in Deborah Levy’s three-part “living autobiography” on writing and womanhood. I’ll be honest, I bought it mostly because of the quote that opened up the first chapter.

You are — your life, and nothing else.”
Jean-Paul Sartre, No Exit (1944)

I wanted more.

To speak up is not about speaking louder, it is about feeling entitled to voice a wish.” (p. 15).

.   .   .

At that moment, I knew I needed to write.

Inspired, I pulled out my notebook and wrote down some things I know, or at least I think I know. I wrote down, writing can save me.

The best way I have found to write is to view writing is as an act of communicating truth in simple terms.

I also wrote down, the good life is an activity — To live is to act; to be is to do.

It is not enough to simply think about writing, or planning to write.

I must write. Writing allows me to speak louder without raising my voice. Writing allows me to voice my wishes, desires, and ideas out onto the world.

Note to self: write more.


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