I was the perfect archetype for a writer as a child: fretful, living in my head, nervous and sensitive about everything. It was only after my Grandma died in high school that life seemed to open up to me in a different, more real, “this is it, girl, don’t let it pass you by” kind of way.
Soon afterwards, I noticed something had changed in my writing. My writing felt more exciting, and yet I had little enthusiasm and patience for it. I thought I was getting bored because I finally felt more alive, more fearless (well, still fearful but empowered by it rather than diminished) and so I thought– who needs writing now that I’m living more in the world than in my head? (In actuality I was trying to talk myself out of writing because I didn’t think it was important enough, that now that I felt more capable and resilient, I should go and do something productive in the world, whatever that means– but that’s another story).
So then I stopped writing for a long time, on paper anyway. I was still writing in my head. I traveled, I learned stuff, I looked at my experiences, I daydreamed. Although sometimes I wish I hadn’t taken time off, it turns out to have been a blessing for me in many ways. Like when Henry David Thoreau said, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
The good news is that the opposite works too: we learn how to live from great writing. Max Medina from the first season finale of Gilmore Girls said it best when he proposed to Lorelei with:
“I have studied and taught the great literature all my life and those stories are replete with characters who let opportunities slip by… but what I teach is more than just literature, it’s lessons in life. If I don’t follow the tenants of those lessons, then I’m not the man I thought I was, the man I want to be.”
ahh, Gilmore Girls, you never fail to blow my mind.
Check it out here: