Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

7/14/2008

Why I Write: The Call to Vulnerability

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

"When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other."

Margaret Wheatly

“WHY do you want to write?” asked a dear friend of mine one day. My mind stilled for a moment trying to articulate the need. I fumbled and I found that I did not have adequate words right then.

The question, however, lingered.

It stayed on my mind and begged to be answered.

Getting out there

Writing, contrary to popular belief, is an arduous affair especially when done with utmost sincerity. Paulo Coelho rightly talks of anguish as “pen traces out words on paper.” Slowly but surely, the writer opens herself up to the querying world waiting to pass judgment on her work.

Innermost thoughts are constantly brought out of shadows for all to see. While a writer’s actions seem to portray a confident stance, her writing, if it is to be sincere, cannot always be the same. Her words reveal hidden vulnerabilities, worries that haunt her in between conscious thoughts.

As each syllable gradually takes shape and solidifies on the screen in front of her, she is faced with a re-telling of her own inner struggles and triumphs. Ephemeral wisps of thought find their form in words that crystallize an experience for the reader. Finally, these words will be read and happily welcomed or cruelly rejected.

Writing is constantly pouring oneself out. While the writer struggles to maintain a certain persona, the writer in her strives to be understood in light of her strength, but also of her weakness. Writing is intensely personal, yet inherently public.

Halting time

In the process of encapsulating her story with a series of well-chosen words, she re-lives her experience thereby living a moment twice. In the moment of writing, she defies the inexorable passage of time and returns to an experience, tasting once again the flavors of a past life.

Waiting for resonance

As the writer dots the final period in her sentence, she gives her words freedom. It winds and weaves its way into the lives of others by being read. Once read, her story is shared. Her words take with them the woman she was then and the story that has become part of her life.

Meanwhile, the writer waits for a response, any sign of life from the vast sea of people in the world. If the writer is lucky, she witnesses the flicker of recognition in the eyes of her readers. Her story resonates with another’s and awakens a long-forgotten part of another. Now, the writer is no longer alone in her experience. Another has come to share her inner life.

We are in constant search of someone who understands, someone that shares our story. To write is to heal that wound we were all born into- wrenched from our mother’s womb-- to share an immortalized moment and make this once cold harsh world a home we can live in.

Photo credit:
Dreaming of the 7 sisters
Leah Piken (Blue Tree Art Gallery)

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