I have loved Anne Lamott’s writing since the moment I found her. I can “hear” her physical voice as I read her words and they always bring me insight and comfort.
The excerpt below is from a chat she did with People magazine and as soon as I read it, I knew I had to share it.
YEAH. I always tell young people at my events that if they love reading, they are going to have great lives. It’s really true. And writing is the way home for so many people–it teaches us discipline, which is the path to freedom. It teaches us that we get to tell the truth–we get to tell OUR truth. We won’t be silenced anymore. We get to learn how to sing and dance on paper. It helps us find out who we are, and who we were truly born to be. If I was teacher, I would hand out pens and notebooks to everyone in my class and say, Tell me your stories! Tell me your version of things.
I have always been a reader, plowing through books at top speed as a child. Fiction, especially, was my preferred genre. And because I’ve always been a reader, it follows that I’ve also been a writer all my life. I’ve mentioned many times that I’ve kept journals since I was ten (and have them all, for better or worse). For me, being stuck without (the right) pen and paper would be akin to a death sentence (and I’m only being partly dramatic).
Anne is right – there IS a discipline to writing whether it’s in a journal, on a blog, taking a 31 day challenge, or just writing for your own edification. And yet, the discipline is at your own speed. Here I’ve spent the past 27 days just pouring out the contents of my head on these pages. Has been a discipline? Yes. Has it been fun? Pretty much, yes.
“We get to dance and sing on paper.” – oh so much yes to this. (And just you be glad I’m doing both on paper, yo. You do not want to hear me sing. Trust me on this.)
I wouldn’t be me if I weren’t writing. Somewhere. In some book. With the exact perfect pen and crisp white paper.
And like Anne, I would give everyone new notebooks, colored markers and ask for their stories.
And I’d read all of them.