Questions to ponder

A few excerpts from “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott:

If your deepest beliefs drive your writing, they will not only keep your work from being contrived but will help you discover what drives your characters.

A moral position is not a slogan, or wishful thinking. It doesn’t come from outside or above. It begins inside the heart of a character and grows from there. Tell the truth and write about freedom and fight for it, however you can, and you will be richly rewarded. As Molly Irvins put it, freedom fighters don’t always win, but they are always right.

You’re outside, but you can see things up close through your binoculars. Your job is to present clearly your viewpoint, your line of vision. Your job is to see people as they really are, and to do this, you have to know who you are in the most compassionate possible sense. Then you can recognize others. It’s simple in concept, but not that easy to do. My Uncle Ben wrote me a letter twenty years ago in which he said, ‘Sometimes you run into someone, regardless of age or sex, whom you know absolutely to be an independently operating part of the Whole that goes on all the time inside yourself, and the eye-motes go click and you hear the tribal tones of voice resonate, and there it is – you recognize them.’

Today I want to leave you with a few things to chew on (things I too am asking myself):

What do you see?

What is your truth?

Do these feed into your work? Why or why not? Would you like them to?


Melanie Tan writes every day – for money and for love. More here.

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