“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
I love this quote. I feel so compelled to write, I always have, but I'm not a writer. A friend who is a writer and former academic colleague told me, "To write, you need to write, and you need to write every day."
I write every day in private; but I want to write and share stories so others don't feel alone fighting for change (at least that's what I think). Ignoring people's suffering or struggles; and turning a blind eye to others' bad behavior, ignorance, or poor treatment does not help us grow or care for one another. Instead, it keeps us closed up, safe, and comfortable in a world that is very uncomfortable, imperfect, and functions under a veil of illusion; just look at social media and how destructive it can be (topic for another day).
No one needs to read my stories; actually, no one does except me. But writing does help me process activities. I'm a very reflective person, and I feel better connected when I write and how I perceive how life is changing around and inside me.
“So why does our writing matter again?” they ask. Because of the spirit, I say. Because of the heart. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life; they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat over a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”
― Anne Lamott