“I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.”
—Michael Cunningham, Author of The Hours
There’s something really powerful about committing a thought to writing.
To seeing whatever it is, a joke, a confession, a question, boldly out there – in black and white.
We lose a lot of connection to writing thanks to email and text and the screens constantly pressed in our noggins. To write has become second nature – but I’d rather call that clicking.
I click myself – all over the internet. On the ‘gram, beloved gif-world of imgur, texting on the magic box (really, it’s more magic than phone).
To write takes thought – at least the thought of the act itself: I am going to write something.
Although writing (for many) is often painful, difficult and just plain frustrating, it is infused with optimism.
An optimism that says: this is worth saying, I need to say it, I need to create.
Like many other creative pursuits, writing is an intentional effort to believe in something. Mostly, to believe in yourself.
And that is a hard-won faith.
A faith that there is something at the end of this thread of words, or characters, or ideas that needs to be fully felt through, explored and mined.
Yet writing can also take on the most basic of human needs: to tell our story. To offer testimony of what has been seen, felt, heard and lived.
As Tim O’Brien said: “Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember but the story.”