Month: April 2014
Hi Jenny I have the same thoughts as you. Write for yourself. Write for the moment. Write to share your dreams with the world. And if what you write goes on to be shared after you die all the better.
I’ve recently been having a chat in a linkedin writers’ group about why we write, and someone said the point for him was to leave something of himself behind after he dies.
I said I wasn’t concerned at all about people reading my books after I’m gone, and someone else said surely there’s no point in writing if we don’t want readers. Which was going off the point a bit, I felt. I mean, of course writers want to find readers.
Knowing your work will be read enhances the experience of writing, but for me it’s about enhancing it now; I don’t think it’ll do much for me after I’m dead.
And yet I do feel that writing gives us a kind of immortality, in that it expands our experience of living beyond the here-and-now limitations of ordinary life. Where am I when I’m writing? I still exist, but I’m not entirely…
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This excerpt is my favourite part of the whole story.
Youth: A Narrative by Joseph Conrad
This is part of a short story told by an older man reminiscing about his first command of a ship as first mate that caught fire and sank. He and the crew rowed for days in an open row boat finally reaching a wharf in the Far East at midnight and they slept in the bottom of the boat. When they woke up, the people of the village were standing on the wharf looking at them.
When I awoke, I first saw the people of the East – and they were looking at me.
I have known its fascination since. I have seen the mysterious shores, the still water, the lands of nations where a stealthy nemesis lies in wait – pursues – overtakes so many of the conquering race who are so proud of their wisdom, their knowledge, their strength.
But for me, all the East is contained in that vision of my youth. It is all in that moment when I opened my young eyes on it. I came upon it from a tussle with the sea. – I was young – and I saw it looking at me. This all that is left of it.
Only a moment – a moment of strength, of romance, of glamour – of youth. A flick of sunshine upon a strange shore, the time to remember, the time for a sigh – and – goodbye – night – good-bye.