Monday, August 23, 2010

I am a writer... and I can't help it.

I was reading quotes on some random quote site the other week, and I ran across this quote by Rainer Maria Rilke:
"Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write."

I didn't really think much about it after reading it, I just moved on. But later, I was thinking... would I die if I were forbidden to write? To be sure, dying seems, well, melodramatic... Yet, I somehow feel if I could never write another word of my dreams, fancies and stories - something in me would die.
No more would I run on a mad dash to find a pencil and paper when I need to capture a thought or a phrase.
No more would I stay up late poring over the thesaurus looking for the right word to use.
No more would I get out of bed in the middle of the night and scribble an idea down by the dim light of my ipod.
No more would I get that feeling of absolute content after finishing writing something that I think is good.
My life would be almost pleasure-less!

Thankfully, I do not think there is anyone who is going to forbid me to write, so - write I will!
And so, even on those days when I am in despair, feeling as if everything I write is inane and I will never be any good, I remember... I have to write. Even if nothing ever comes of it. It has spread its roots into the very depth of my heart.

But you don't know what's ahead of you--the stony hills--the steep ascents--the buffets--the discouragements. Stay in the valley if you're wise. Emily, why do you want to write? Give me your reason."
"I want to be famous and rich," said Emily coolly.
"Everybody does. Is that all?"
"No. I just love to write."
"A better reason--but not enough--not enough. Tell me this--if you knew you would be poor as a church mouse all your life--if you knew you'd never have a line published--would you still go on writing--would you?"
"Of course I would," said Emily disdainfully. "Why, I have to write--I can't help it at times--I've just got to."
"Oh--then I'd waste my breath giving advice at all. If it's in you to climb you must--there are those who must lift their eyes to the hills--they can't breathe properly in the valleys. God help them if there's some weakness in them that prevents their climbing. You don't understand a word I'm saying--yet. But go on--climb!

-Excerpt from Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery

{Picture taken by me.}


  1. Ah- so you do use a thesaurus.

    1. I've been known to indulge every now and then. ;)


Silhouettes of a secret. A story told over a cuppa. Or perhaps just sitting on that stone bench, basking in the moonlight... and not saying anything at all.

("I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks." -Shakespeare, Twelfth Night)