I’ve gotten convinced that there’s something kind of timelessly vital and sacred about good writing. This thing doesn’t have that much to do with talent, even glittering talent [. . .] Talent’s just an instrument. It’s like having a pen that works instead of one that doesn’t. I’m not saying I’m able to work consistently out of the premise, but it seems like the big distinction between good art and so-so art lies somewhere in the art’s heart’s purpose, the agenda of the consciousness behind the text. It’s got something to do with love. With having the discipline to talk out of the part of yourself that can love instead of the part that just wants to be loved. – David Foster Wallace
When I write deep, there’s this soft place I enter. It’s like a forest on a cool spring evening. A room stuffed with the softest pillows. That place in sleep where I am relaxed entire and know it. I write for the love of that place.
When I write broken, the back of my eyes sting with tears, and my face scrunches. My body rocks with sobs, and my chest heaves. I write for that love of that release. And the way it does not release it all.
When I write open, my heart reaches right out of my chest to grab that young man who needs attention so badly that he will walk to me, after only one introduction, and stand with his face wide, waiting to be acknowledged. I will grab him with my words and hug him when my body can only smile and shake his hand and say, “I’m so glad to see you.”
When I write true, I forget blog statistics and subscription numbers. All thought of platform disappears. When I write true, I write – as David Foster Wallace says – for love, not just the want of love.
When I write for number or agendas, when I write for approval or validation, when I write for sales or from fear, when I write for anything beyond what that piece needs at that moment, my art becomes “so-so.”
So today, I choose again, to write from the heart, to write what a little voice whispers, to write the words tucked back beneath my tongue, waiting.
What love do you write for?