Letter To An Unknown Writer

     You are a writer, a bearer of truth, and your pen carries the responsibility of creation, of placing down on paper the fleeting ghosts of your imagination. As such, you possess something that cannot be learned or taught, bought or acquired. It is a craft that comes only through suffering. Through the painstaking process of selecting the right words to express a feeling or situation, like singling out individual droplets of water in the depths of the ocean. During the creation process, your thoughts reach out their arms like lost souls from the River Lethe, trying to grip at your curiosity, at the feeling in your mind that compels your hand to write down moments of inspiration. Immerse yourself in these thoughts, those that are submerged deep in your soul, haunted by visions, voices and virtue.

However, there will be times when you’ll feel like your mind has become as dry of inspiration as your pen of ink. During these moments of drought, the estuaries from whence ideas usually emanate feed a stream of fears, doubts on whether another idea will flounder its way into your brain once more, or whether the last piece that you wrote was your last. In this darkest of hours, swim against the current and drown out these insecurities, as the profundity of your creativity is only as deep as you will it to be. It is from your mind that universes are created and destroyed, perfected and dissected, used and reused until they are refined into a distilled line of poesy that casts a spell upon the eyes of whomever reads it. Your talent is a truth that cannot be quieted, one that will not quit, and will acquit you amidst the scrutiny of time and taste. Suffer for your writing because unless you do, no one will suffer it.

Don’t mind the likes and dislikes of an inattentive and fickle online community that, like crashing waves, seems to follow an indeterminate pattern that crushes anything it its way. Write so that you are satisfied with your work, so that you can go to sleep knowing that what you have committed from your mind onto paper can only be improved upon the next time you open your eyes. Ultimately, people don’t want to read what you write, they don’t want to read what you think. They want to read you. They want your blood, your bones, your flesh on a page. Therefore, be generous with your skill, but not indulgent. Share what you know, but only enough that the reader may be satisfied, and even want more. Conjure images that are better imagined than seen, and sensations that only the pen can describe and the heart feel. Don’t allow the greed of your desk drawer to deprive the world of your unique perspective.

An onslaught of rejections will make you question why you’re even bothering in perfecting a craft that nobody will ever appreciate, and producing work that no one will ever read. Well, it is not your job to fit into anything. Your creativity should know no bounds. You’ve already limited yourself to the confines of the language and its grammar, and the prepackaging elements of a word, sentence, paragraph, and page. In spite of it all, write. Shut out the critics that belittle your work, especially the critic that resides comfortably inside your head, the cruelest of them all. The one that will cripple you from within, freeze your hand and thoughts from populating the white screen before you, with its blinking cursor steadily taunting you. Even in the torrential agony of rejection, keep writing. You’ll often find that your mode of expression is “not quite right” for most people or publications, but just try to remember why you’re writing in the first place. Is it like breathing to prove that you can breathe or is it breathing because you’d die if you didn’t?

Write because you need to, not because you have to. Write because there is nothing else in this world that will quell the restlessness that effervesces within your innermost being every time you see something that everybody else sees, but goes unappreciated. Give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves and provide the rest of us with ears to listen. Allow the mediums by which your work is disseminated to come and go— from spoken word to solid stone, to papyrus and animal hide, paper to cursor— but never allow the creativity that you inhabit them with to stray away from who you truly are or the message you are trying to convey. Write even if nobody is reading. Write especially because nobody is reading.

Be a force that transforms harsh realities into something palliative, like a river’s waters whose gentle surface conceals the violent currents that smooth jagged stones on the riverbed, softening them silken to the touch.

It is your duty as a writer to write what is in you, as it is a mother’s to nurse her newborn and a prophet’s to profess the truth.

A truth that can be rejected, criticized, and buried for hundreds of years— by rubble or online babble— but one that can never be silenced or denied.

An endless truth that will continue to flow through generations, uncertain and unbiased of what influence its course will have upon the landscape of human history.

So, just write.

 

Artwork

Relief fragment [Photograph]. (ca. 1917 b.c.). Egyptian, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

25 thoughts on “Letter To An Unknown Writer

  1. Thank you so much stripSearchLA from the bottom of my heart and the deep recesses of my mind for the profound and powerful lessons this piece has reminded me! I’m a novice writer and this letter means so much to my process right now coming from a relatively new and talented writer like you. I’m moved to hear these truths you experienced and sharing with me, with us readers and writers. Muchas gracias for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vida, thank you for the touching comment. I’m glad that I was able to communicate to you these ideas and that you were able to find them useful. I hope to keep discovering more truths about the craft of writing and about myself. Keep writing, my friend, and I hope that you always find your muse. I look forward to reading some of your work very soon. Cheers!

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  2. Writing to teach, writing to comment, writing to express yourself, even writing for sheer creative exuberance is because you were made to write…even when you do not do it well, even when the ideas fade, and the ink runs dry and the energy to put one more sentence together is reft from you.

    Yes, being a writer is all that, and more. You describe it very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And you did it again… I am in awe and tears. Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL piece! I’m willing to fight anyone that denies this is the most ispirational, heart-warming, stunning letter, that has ever been writtien for a writer, any writer. I especially liked that part where it says “A truth that can be rejected, criticized, and buried for hundreds of years— by rubble or online babble— but one that can never be silenced or denied.” and “Write even if nobody is reading. Write especially because nobody is reading.” Thank you for writing this. Thank you from the -I want to believe- endless bottom of hy heart! 🙂

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    1. Mademoiselle, thank you for your lovely words. I’ve been wanting to write a piece like this for a while, but it wasn’t until you nominated me for an award that I felt truly compelled to put down in words what writing truly means to me.

      I wanted to inspire all writers, but especially the writers whose work I have grown to admire. You, my friend, are one of them. I’m glad that this letter touched you the way it did and I am thankful beyond measure for your reblogging and appreciation of my work.

      Thank you for taking on the difficult and sometimes lonely task of bringing art into this world. Cheers, my dear 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are such a creative person and I tend to feel inspired by people like you. I like to see that other people are being artistic and creative. We are in a sense, creating a living, breathing, artistic community.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Mademoiselle FANTASY and commented:
    I could write that this is an amazing post, or that I was in tears (in a good way) while reading this, or that you MUST read it… But I won’t. I don’t have enough words to do that. I don’t think the any dictionary in this world has enough words to describe it. What I will see is “Please read this post, by stripSearchLA. Check out the rest of his stuff, and maybe some of mine too.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Everything state dis spot on….
    Loved the sentence, “Write because you need to, not because you have to”
    The only things I ever HAVE to do are the one or two activities I outline for myself each day (the night before) and I need to complete those to make me feel good about myself.
    And if I feel good everyone else does also.
    Been eating the elephant one bite at a time for over 70 years

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your powerful comment, Chuck. I admire all writers, but especially experienced writers such as yourself. I’ve often found that readers, including other writers, judge a writer’s skill or process based on the final product, which reads easily. But I guess that’s the act of magic we have to perform as writers, that of making the incredibly complex– at times inspiring, at times infuriating– process of converting thoughts, ideas, and emotions into words.

      Here’s to many more years of eating the elephant 😉

      Like

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