Listen to Me

I don’t know why this quotation ended up in my inbox today, but after I read it, I thought, “Wow. That sounds like me.” The not-naturally-assertive and looking-to-others parts, anyway. The middle part, is where I am. ‘Being a writer’ (in whatever form that takes) is the goal to strive toward. ‘Listen to me’ is the inward cry. Isn’t that why we write?

“It was not in my nature to be an assertive person. I was used to looking to others for guidance, for influence, sometimes for the most basic cues of life. And yet writing stories is one of the most assertive things a person can do. Fiction is an act of willfulness, a deliberate effort to reconceive, to rearrange, to reconstitute nothing short of reality itself. Even among the most reluctant and doubtful of writers, this willfulness must emerge. Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, ‘Listen to me.'”

– Jhumpa Lahiri

  1. rbs
    August 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I think I stumbled upon this quotation before, too. I don’t just “like” it; I love it.

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