I read some great things this morning over on a site called Brain Pickings. There’s a great post about Willa Cather and her decision to leave the corporate world in favor of a quiet life. Here’s an excerpt from a letter from her friend (The writer) Sarah Jewett:
“…you must write to the human heart, the great consciousness that all humanity goes to make up. Otherwise what might be strength in a writer is only crudeness, and what might be insight is only observation; sentiment falls to sentimentality — you can write about life, but never write life itself.”
Willa was working in journalism and moving fast. Yes, deadlines, but also being a woman in a male-dominated industry must have been pretty exhausting. The bit in Sarah’s letter that reads “what might be insight is only observation” resonates with me. I rush a lot –not a super unique experience, I know. But how much do I miss in living, and in writing, by moving too quickly? I risk not taking time really see things, hear things, and feel things.
It’s a great time of year to think about what we’ve done, and what we want to do. I want to take more time to listen to the world and myself. I want to open up to possibilities and expansion. Live beyond screens, alarms, deadlines, and schedules. Play more. See more trees. Run with my kid more. Run more, in general.
I just finished a draft of my second book, so I have a great pause to explore before I get my first round of edits back. I’m going to do my best to fill it thoughtfully. There is a mile-long list of things that stand staunchly in the way of this endeavor, but trying is something.