Suspension of belief

by Anna Blanch on December 21, 2011

“A writer lives, at least, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of wonder at it all. To transmit that feeling, she writes.”  – William Sansom

Writing can be a joy. Writing can be like sinking in a quicksand made of a muddy abyss of your own mis-spoken words. Writing can be…the most painfully vulnerable of experiences. Sometimes I write and only later realise what it was that I was really trying to say; the threads of my own deeply held struggles or triumphs un-“known” even to myself. Yet, somewhere I “know” them. Because otherwise they would not be so blindingly obvious to me later.

“You’ve got to be smart enough to write and stupid enough to not think about all the things that might go wrong.” —Sara Gilbert

Is Sara right?

maybe. We often talk  about the suspension of belief being a feature of the mindset necessary for reading fiction. But I wonder how much we consider the suspension of judgment as necessary to the task and process of writing. I say process because any kind of writing, especially a thesis is iterative. You go over and over and over and cut and edit and prune and make new and make old and scuff and polish.

Tamara’s words earlier his month ripped at my heart. They are strong words. But they are necessary words. They are her words.

I am left with tears at the beauty of that strength.

I am left too with question. What are my “strong words”? – how do I use my words to speak for myself, to speak for “the other.” I do I employ my voice to love others as I feel compelled to do.

I’ve been thinking about what’s next. The Avett’s Brothers “Travelling Song” kind of sums up where I am on it at the moment; that, and it’s a good song.

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I wouldn’t be involved in Life:Unmasked if it wasn’t for Life: Unmaskedthis challenge and invitation  from the lovely, Joy. This post I wrote about “getting real” prompted my involvement with This Life: Unmasked. This is my twelth post for the challenge. Here is my first: Life: UnMasked, my second, Ready or Not, my third, Is the Heart Home?, my fourth, Like Fireflies in the Night and Swallows in the morning, my fifth, This is a Choice, and my sixth, A little less of a superhero, my seventh, Just another day…, my eighth, In Control? and my ninth, The travails of my single mindedness and my tenth, marking time, marking place and my eleventh, Writing Unmasked.


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