Sunday, July 19, 2015

The wisdom of E. L. Doctorow

“Writing is an exploration.
             You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

Edgar Lawrence “E. L.” Doctorow (b1931)
American author

Indeed, writing can be a thrilling dedication to taking the road less traveled by (thanks, Mr. Frost).

You can think of it as writing what you feel, or seeking truth, or aiming for the sweet spot with words that say precisely what you mean to say, or discovering how to capture the always evanescent bloom of startling awareness or sudden evocation or the joyful eruption of a child’s first sight of the ocean….

This is the kind of scribbling I have in mind:

....I hold the hand of a young child who will not remember this first walk in the woods, a child whose happy footsteps, whose innocent fascination, whose first touch to the fallen pine cone create a new, timeless memory for the grandfather who had forgotten the mystery of the pine cone....

And more: Doctorow forgot to mention the rapture of re-write.

When you bear-hug your muse, and take a second (or fourth) crack at that almost perfect haiku, or the abstract of your thesis, or the not-quite-a-lovin’-spoonful poem to your sweetie, and you stare at the words until they curl around what you really mean to say….

…you know what I mean.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.

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