We bleed the ink the page before us has been needing.
And for what?
That answer determines the manner in which we write :
hurried to meet some self-set goal
focused like light through the prism of our soul to cast the light of our dreams
onto an imagined page some unknown reader will read, becoming lost in our imagined worlds :
"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement.
To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence,
is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...
Anybody can have ideas--
the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph."
- Mark Twain in a letter to Emeline Beach, 10 Feb 1868.
Will we be understood?
Thomas Bailey Aldrich, in a review of Emily Dickinson’s poetry published anonymously in the Atlantic Monthly, January, 1892 :
"But the incoherence and formlessness of her —
I don't know how to designate them — versicles are fatal….
An eccentric, dreamy, half-educated recluse in an out-of-the-way New England village (or anywhere else) cannot with impunity set at defiance the laws of gravitation and grammar."
Whose name is familiar to you : the poet's or the reviewer's?
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
- Emily Dickinson
Have you noticed that much of the fiction out there has become more and more stylised, more and more cut off from ordinary feeling?
Is it that so many have come to regard everything in the world around us as fiction.... All the structures in it, flyovers and motorways, office blocks and factories, are all part of this enormous novel.
And since all those around us are mere backdrop in the fiction of our lives, they cease to become living, hurting, feeling individuals.
Ernest Hemingway wrote :
"Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.
Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing.
He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates.
For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
You know that fiction is possibly the roughest trade of all in writing.
You do not have the reference, the old important reference.
You have the sheet of blank paper, the pencil, and the obligation to invent truer than things can be true.
You have to take what is not palpable and make it completely palpable and also have it seem normal and so that it can become a part of experience of the person who reads it."
Why do you write?
To touch one human heart?
To impress someone who may not even be alive, or if alive, does not see you as your dreams and soul truly are?
To make the bestseller lists?
To become wealthy and famous? To support yourself comfortably?
To tell the stories that burn to come out and sigh in relief as you type them into being?
Why we write determines how we write and how much pleasure we derive from it/
What do you think?