Friday, April 5, 2024

Something orginal and important to say


"Everyone is talented, original, and has something important to say."           - Brenda Ueland

It's Day Two of "Writing Your Way" and today's exercises invited me to consider whether I have anything original and important to say.  

When I first completed the exercises last year, I only considered "originality" and "importance" as a function of other people's perceptions and, on that basis, concluded that my writing was, in all likelihood, of very little value.

This morning it occurred to me that I should have considered my own perceptions as well. If it feels important to me to write about something, maybe that's enough. 

This week, I heard a famous person (I quite can't remember who but I think maybe it was Jane Fonda) talk about how she'd researched her own life and the lives of her parents to better understand where she'd come from and why she was the way she was. It struck a chord because I realized how little I knew about my parents' early lives and how much I'd forgotten from my own. 

So much of what we humans feel and do has nothing to do with rational thought, and everything to do with complex psychological reactions that are the result of our earliest influences and experiences. I think it might be easier to anticipate and manage those reactions if I better understood where they came from. And being able to do that might free me up to be braver, more compassionate, and more productive in the years ahead. 

With that in mind, I've arranged to go on a short writing retreat later this month. I hope to use the time to begin documenting childhood memories and formulating questions to explore with my parents and siblings. It will be interesting (to me at least!) to see where that takes me. 

By the way, the photo above was taken at is Beach Meadows, just outside Liverpool, on Easter Sunday morning. It was a mild day, and threatening rain when we arrived, so we had the beach almost entirely to ourselves. 

1 comment:

  1. People have been writing down their thoughts for centuries, so I'm not sure how many original thoughts there are anymore, other than an opinion on current technology. For fiction it's said there's only 7 original plots, or maybe it's 11. Not a big number in any case.
    One of the reasons that the stock market is so unpredictable is that it's driven by fear and greed, both completely irrational emotions, especially when driven to the extremes.