I didn’t have a pencil in hand while I was finishing the book in the last couple of days, but if I did, I probably would have underlined every other sentence. It’s chocked full of that much wisdom. And some very useful writing advice, but also meaty tidbits to help you through your day. Pretend that everyone you meet is waiting in the emergency room with you, because we are. We’re all orphans; we’re all trying to survive the unique crappiness of our own particular day. If you can surface above the drowning ocean of your own crappiness to take a look around you, this is a readily apparent fact.
Be as easy on yourself as you are on your friends. I’ve read this and heard this lots before. I’ve actually said this to my friends. And yet just this morning I found myself engaged in a self-flagellation over my morning and my behavior. Would I berate a friend for the same behaviors? Of course not. Stop treating yourself as if you’re unworthy, or at least, less worthy than all your friends.
As you can see, I love this book. So let me just end by giving you the last paragraph, where she’s making her final go at explaining why writing matters, regardless of whether you are ever published or not:
“So why does our writing matter, again,” they ask.Because of the spirit, I say. Because of the heart. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.