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Why he writes

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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.


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