About writing

“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Annie Dillard, a well-known naturalist and author, also has many insights about the skill of writing itself. She reminds us of the necessity of writing with passion and purpose — not waiting and not holding anything back — jumping in with both feet and no fear.

I hear in these words not only advice for writing but for living. In these days when it’s so easy to hold back because of our enforced limitations and fear of moving about in the world, I do not want to give up on living life fully — and safely, with the help of science and logic. Adorned in masks, hand sanitizer at the ready, and keeping our distance, there may still be ways we can jump into a fuller, happier existence while we wait for better times. We have to watch for opportunities. We have to be willing to “spend it all” right now.

For me, writing is my passion and purpose, as are my family and friends, and I will strive not to hold back one ounce of love.

Are we willing to take the plunge?

5 Comments

  1. Adelyn Grudier on October 4, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    If we don’t try to live life while we have it then it is gone with the moment. We need to fill each moment as if it is our last one and try to live it well and move on to the next moment.
    No sense waiting until tomorrow because really we never know if tomorrow will come or not. Nor do we need to be dooms dayers and hold back either. Go ahead, remember the past and keep looking for the silver linng.’
    With the past nine months we have managed to slog through and the next ones until a new year, it is going to be tough slogging but we have hopefully weathered the worst of it and look forward to a new year.
    Sounds a bit Pollyann-erish but what else can we do but keep living and shuffle the cards we are given and hope for a high or low score – whatever wins in this game of life.

  2. Kate on October 4, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    A friend of mine is making one of a kind designer masks, to raise money for cat rescue. I made hand sanitizer pouches and have them in return for a charity that supports those with HIV/AIDS in our community. I like the idea of taking the required precautions, and making them fun.

    • Kate on October 4, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      That should read that the pouches were gifts to friends who made a donation to the HIV/AIDS charity.

    • Emilie Richards on October 16, 2020 at 11:31 am

      Hand sanitizer pouches are a great idea. I bought one from Bath and Body along with sanitizer that fits snugly inside and I leave it chained to my purse handle. That will be a great benefit for whoever buys yours.

      • Kate on October 18, 2020 at 9:41 am

        I didn’t sell them. I gave them away, in return for a donation to the local AIDS charity. I took their word on the donation.

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