All the good stories are out there waiting to be told in a fresh, wild way.
Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird.
Lamott also says that our ‘anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth’. I think she might be right to a degree: my best writing is born of thought fuelled by emotion, a passionate belief that something should be so or not so.
When we write prose which is beautiful, words which only caress the senses yet say nothing, we rob both our readers and ourselves of the story which is ours alone to tell. In the end, when you write I want to read the fresh wildness of your heart, to hear you whisper what is almost beyond words.
Living the fresh wildness into The Art of Steering is one thing, writing which is a commonplace of reflections, of brief thoughts on the dailiness of life and its interweavings with the God whom we serve. But it has started to occur to me this morning, somewhat idly, I confess:
Could I write the fresh wildness into my academic writing?
Could I do what sounds, on the face of it, impossible, given my propensity to write like a lawyer in any formal piece? Could I lose my plethora of sub-headings in which I was so well-schooled as a trainee solicitor mastering the delights of auto-numbering (a skill worth learning if only to avoid the ire of my much-older secretary over the niceties of good document etiquette)? But, more than this, could I write with a voice which is mine? Could I write the fresh wildness in, even there?
I don’t know what this might mean. It wasn’t even in my head when I first started writing this post as a response to the quotation from Lamott. But, as ever in free-writing, I think I may have stumbled upon something which was not in my conscious mind. And now I am constrained to sit with this question:
What is the fresh wildness and can I write it into all my words…especially the academic ones?