Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Guest Blog: Breathing Words

Breathing Words
By Susan Pogorzelski
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Years ago, when I first met my friend Josh on the internet, he asked me what I wanted to be when I “grew up.” A writer, I answered him. His answer is one that sticks in the back of my mind, an answer that I draw forth almost daily, whenever I need to remind myself of its truth: “You already are a writer.”

I think I must have rolled my eyes and typed back furiously something along the lines of, yeah, whatever, but I want to be published. Back then, I imagined a writer as being someone who had a book on the shelves, being analyzed and read in classrooms or in reading circles or even, god forbid, at the beach. If only I knew then, ten years ago, how wise Josh’s answer was.

Writing is more than a profession; being a writer is different than being a banker or a CEO or a politician. Being a writer is more than just a way of life…it is an undeniable part of your own existence that barely has an explanation and rarely makes any sense. Sure, writing is a craft and a skill that has to be honed and molded and anyone who has a respectable vocabulary and working knowledge of grammar can accomplish it. But that’s the profession. That’s not a writer.

A writer is someone who looks at language as magic, who appreciates the story made up of the little moments in life. A writer is someone who feels the energy of an idea through her whole body, feels the urge, the need, to write like a tingling sensation, ready to spill forth from her fingers. A writer dreams and dares and hopes and immerses herself in emotion and imagery and wonder.

Despite setbacks and disappointments, a writer dreams. Despite failure and rejection, a writer hopes. She has stories to tell and characters to meet and places to travel, and even if those stories never make into the hands of the public, she will continue to write.

Because writing is a part of her; she needs it like she needs the air to breathe. To keep living, she needs to be writing; otherwise, she is but a lackluster shell of the person she once was. Writing is more than a living for this person, more than a talent.

For the writer, writing is everything.

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1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Gorgeous! This quote, "it is an undeniable part of your own existence that barely has an explanation and rarely makes any sense," especially resonated with me and reminded me of my favorite quote from the singer Ani Difranco (I know, totally lame that I still listen to her). Anyway, here's the quote, "Art is why I get up in the morning, but my definition ends there and it doesn't seem fair, that I'm living for something I can't even define."

Great post, Susan!