Some thoughts on writing

Writing can be lonely.

In its simplest form, it is a series of thoughts expressed in media. Historically, that media could be recorded signs of symbols, as in the ancient cave drawings or symbols on the Rosetta stone.

Writing is also a compliment to our natural speech and even our inner voice.

In the post feature photo, Olin Levi Warner created this tympanum representing Writing in 1896, above the exterior of main entrance doors of the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington DC. (Wikipedia)

Why are we so fascinated and consumed with writing?  This is my first blog post and I’ve always wanted to have just a place where I could write. An outlet. My private space.  Express some thoughts, emotion and maybe even some ideas.

WordPress even has a section of “best practices for posting“.  They even recommend that we do not hide our emotions:

“Tempting as it might be, don’t hide your real emotions. After all that is what a blog is about. If you want, you can stay anonymous and voice your feelings on whatever you are passionate about. You might have strong views on various subjects but let your readers know your passion. What is passion worth if you can’t even share it? You’ll actually love the discussions it can lead to. The discussions will broaden your own thinking and you might end up making some really good friends.” (WordPress)

In its purest form, writing can open the soul and free the mind.  It can be therapy.  One of my favorite writers is Ernest Hemingway.  I read many of his works when I was young, and it was inspiring.

When I read The Old Man and the Sea, the descriptive detail and narrative was something of an art form.  The words drove a story, complete, like the notes in a symphony.  His writing style is simple and true.  Something to behold.

“He remembered the time he had hooked one of a pair of marlin. The male fish always let the female fish feed first and the hooked fish, the female, made a wild, panic-stricken, despairing fight that soon exhausted her, and all the time the male had stayed with her, crossing the line and circling with her on the surface. He had stayed so close that the old man was afraid he would cut the line with his tail which was sharp as a scythe and almost of that size and shape. When the old man had gaffed her and clubbed her, holding the rapier bill with its sandpaper edge and clubbing her across the top of her head until her colour turned to a colour almost like the backing of mirrors, and then, with the boy’s aid, hoisted her aboard, the male fish had stayed by the side of the boat. Then, while the old man was clearing the lines and preparing the harpoon, the male fish jumped high into the air beside the boat to see where the female was and then went down deep, his lavender wings, that were his pectoral fins, spread wide and all his wide lavender stripes showing. He was beautiful, the old man remembered, and he had stayed.” (The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway)

Like most of our writing’s the stories are based on experiences, places and people.  Our experiences shape our thoughts and ideas.   Hemingway used his experiences to broaden his life story through writing.

He always wrote alone.

He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, but did not travel to Stockholm to receive the prize.   Instead he wrote a sort of epitaph to the Nobel committee:

“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day” (Wikipedia)


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