Diving below the surface.

6 Oct

I want people who write to crash or dive below the surface, where life is so cold and confusing and hard to see. I want writers to plunge through the holes—the holes we try to fill up with all the props. In those holes and in the spaces around them exist all sorts of possibility, including the chance to see who we are and to glimpse the mystery.-Anne Lamott

Today, I finished reading Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. This quote from the book really stuck with me. Over the past few months, I’ve been drawn more and more to books about writing and what it takes to be a writer. Though I don’t read the books in order to remind myself why I write, I do read them in order to remember that many of the emotions that I feel as a writer don’t enclose me. Rather, they allow me entry into one of the most special worlds I’ve ever known: the world of writers.

I first began to write because I felt like no one understood what I was feeling. Writing was the way that I could be completely myself without having to explain why I felt or didn’t feel certain emotions. As I sat in my childhood bedroom at the age of 8 with a journal and pencil in hand, I realized that I didn’t have to hide. I could pour my entire self into my words, and the only person who had to read those words was me. However, more recently through this blog, I have started to understand the strong sense of community and belonging that I’ve been looking for for so long. It’s been right here, waiting for me to discover it. The world of writers is one that is very hard to explain to those who aren’t writers. However, for those of us who are writers, we know what our world is like. We wake up in it every morning. We plunge into it on a daily basis when we sit down at our computers to write out what is itching to be released. We know what it’s like on the bad days when the words won’t come, when it’s too pretty outside to sit in front of a computer that holds the daunting blank Word document. However, we also know the joy of the little victories: completing a chapter, getting an article published, the sense of relief that comes when another writing project is finished. Even though those little victories can keep us afloat for longer than we imagined, it’s the recognition we want. I don’t mean being the next New York Times Bestselling author or making millions of dollars. I mean being told by one single person that our words have touched them or helped them in some way. That’s the prize, “the big kahuna.” It’s what keeps me coming back to my desk, day after day, to share my story.

I haven’t opened the Word document that houses my memoir in a matter of months. Even though I could use the excuses of college classes, friends, work and other random responsibilities that pop up for juniors in college, I’d just be fooling myself. I’m naturally an introspective person. However, the kind of introspection that my memoir has involved has brought me face to face with memories that I never thought I’d have to experience again. However, for many writers, that’s what writing is. It’s facing our demons and learning to accept them so that we can move on to a better and more fulfilling life. I know from experience that it’s incredibly hard. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I keep trudging along though. I keep on “diving below the surface” of my life for the chance of impacting just one person, for the chance to be part of the reason that they feel even just a little less alone.


17 Responses to “Diving below the surface.”

  1. David (1MereMortal) October 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    I enjoyed this post immensely…deeply poignant and spot on.

  2. teeceecounsel October 6, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    I am that ‘one person’ that you just touched with this post. I Love Writing. Welldone!

    • ameliaclaire92 October 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

      Thank you so much. I’m glad that I could touch you through my words.

  3. Julia Dean-Richards October 7, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    Wishing you strength x

  4. mcwoman October 7, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Your post said it beautifully. What makes writers “tick” is very different from other people. I have read Anne Lamont’s book sometime in the past. You make me want to pull it out again. I’m glad we “met” through the blogging world.

    • ameliaclaire92 October 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

      Though I’ve read other books about writing and what makes writers unique etc, no one said it quite like Lamott. There is great courage found in a writer who can tell you how it really is in the writing world without making the mistake of squashing so much of the creativity and desire to be a writer. 🙂

  5. belasbrightideas October 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Love the quote!

    • ameliaclaire92 October 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      Me too. It’s such a great book. You should read it if you haven’t, even though I know your to-be-read pile is probably incredibly long. 🙂

  6. belasbrightideas October 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Amelia, I actually OWN the book. But I’m weary of ‘how to’s,’ at this point. I’ve written since I was a child, it comes naturally. But now you mention it, I’ll give it another look-see 😉

    • ameliaclaire92 October 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

      I actually found that it didn’t read like a “how-to” book. Although, I will admit that I skimmed the chapters that talked about plot and character etc, I found the second half of the book to be the most useful to me.

      • belasbrightideas October 8, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

        Thanks for that. I’ll check ‘er out! 😉

  7. jilllurie October 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Your words have touched me. Many times over. Thank you Amelia.

    • ameliaclaire92 October 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

      Thank you so much for reading, Jill. 🙂 I always love receiving your comments.

  8. Ann Ivy Male October 11, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    I keep coming back to your blog every time I yearn for inspiration…you always seem to have the perfect entries and quotes. Lately I have been feeling a bit of writer’s block so I’ve been easing the frustration by looking for any excuse why I cannot write today….cleaning windows, folding laundry blah,blah blah. Just wanted to say thanks for encouraging fellow writers to keep breaking down walls and pushing forward with words….

    • ameliaclaire92 October 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Thank you for reading! 🙂 So glad my posts help you.

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