I often say I am not political but I am political when I write. That is, when I write the details of life. As writers, we often reveal ourselves in ways that the world is not expecting. Meaning, we think differently. We’re writers.
Preparing for #NaPoWriMo, I’ve been reading a recommended book, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg. I highly recommend it. It is freeing!
For example, in The Power of Detail chapter, she writes:
We have lived, our moments are important. This is what it is to be a writer: to be the carrier of details that make up history… Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist–the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth with her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing.
In writing with details, you are turning to face the world. It is a deeply political act, because you are not just staying in the heat of your own emotions. You are offering some good solid bread for the hungry.
That was the motivation behind my first published book, Myths of the Fatherless. But I did not tell the whole story there. What I would like to find the courage to write is “If I Don’t Tell the Story, Who Will?” because “this should not have been my story.”