Friday, October 16, 2015

Why I write


Firstly, let's just rejoice at this simple fact that today is the first Friday of the new Hijri year. Alhamdulillah, we are still here, able to welcome it and observe it. We would of course welcome and count each Friday differently if God were to reveal: "Hey, you've got only 156 Fridays left to live y'know?" That's 3 years, in case you're wondering -- derived from dividing 156 with 52 because there are 52 weeks in a year, buddy. LOL. 

You see, this is a good example of why I write. It's because like some people, like Joan Didion, I need to find that mysterious and sometimes elusive access to my own mind. That, coupled with the impulse to create something - to fill up the white space with some strange combo of 26 letters. Juggling the 26 letters according to current mood with blatant disregard to what the readers might think. 

Joan Didion is right in saying:     
'In many ways, writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. It's an aggressive, even a hostile act....There's no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer's sensibility on the reader's most private space.' 

Yes and the reverse of that could also be true. That a writer is bullying his/her own mind, forcing it to come out of its hiding, hence making it open and vulnerable. Still, many people would write when their hearts are touched by something, when something moves them. 

When I first read Joan Didion's writing, I did not know she's a prolific writer. I got to know her work through The Guardian newspaper dated 24 September 2005, when I was studying in Stirling, Scotland. I was so moved by her story that I even had a strong impetus to write a letter to The Guardian. Never mind that I was naive as far as Great Britain was concerned. It was my first month there so when my short letter got published, I felt welcomed. The fact that my Uni classmate, a clever, articulate British lady, had noticed it, really made my day.

So, I guess, when your writing is driven by your heart, it can reach farther. There's no doubting Joan Didion wrote The Year of Magical Thinking from her heart. The book is about mourning the loss of her loved ones. She says: ''Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life.''

Below is another quote of Joan Didion, something more uplifting for us to consider.

Pic credit: Brain Pickings

On a lighter note, I swear I have got a photo of myself looking a bit like Joan's pic above, especially the hair style. LOL. I was 27 then : )

Why I write? Just writing my way through. That's better than bluffing your way through something or anything, is it not? Why I write? Because I need to hit the minimum target of 200 postings. And this is posting no. 160. 

Phew! Gotta have self-respect. Gotta respect one's goals.

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