“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.”

I have been meaning to write and publish on this blog for 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 tend to wait for the perfect moment to write. I tell myself that tomorrow is a better day for writing, with a fresh start. I promise myself that I will wake up at 6:00AM and write for two hours before I head to work.

Tomorrow never comes the way I intended it to. Tomorrow is the perfect moment only in my head.

I also wait for the perfect moment where ample inspiration jumps out of nowhere and an article magically appears in my head fully 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 will just do it tomorrow instead. This is mostly a plot by my brain to, instead, get me to scroll through pointless online junk until I fall asleep from sheer screen-exhaustion.

Tonight, however, it felt right to write.

Pull out my laptop. Think about writing tomorrow instead. Start typing anyway. Do not give up.

.  .  .

Earlier today, I impulsively bought a book I found while looking for Becoming by Michelle Obama. I picked up Things I Don’t Want to Know and flipped through it to keep myself entertained as I waited for the cashier to look for the book I intended to buy. 

Things I Don’t Want to Know: On Writing is 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 quotes that opened up each 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 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 plan to write. We must write. Writing allows us to speak louder without raising our voices. It helps us to voice our wish, to force it onto the world.

Note to self: write more.



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