After posting my last blog entry, I wanted to revisit some of those ‘Why We Write’ articles in Poets and Writers. One which lodged itself in my memory was that by a photographer and filmmaker, Scott Hartman. Scott’s article, entitled ‘To Get Words Out’, delineates a sort of dual conflict he’s experienced in his life with words: firstly the hardship of his stammer, which he recounts through episodes of his childhood; and secondly, as an adult, his forays into creative writing and the difficulty of completing his novel. For its simplicity, it is a remarkably poignant piece and fittingly characterizes, I think, this inescapable, vivid, and quite indefinable humanness to writing – something so innate, so mysterious. His final paragraph – what I really wanted to share – reads as follows:
I have never taken a photograph, never seen one, that has made me cry. I’ve never watched a movie or heard a piece of music that has had such a profound effect. I’ve never found an art form that touches me – or that can touch people – more powerfully than the written word. Before I could find my voice as a writer, I fought for my voice, period. A voice is not a given; words don’t come easy. Both are worth spending a lifetime trying to find. Both are worth fighting for.