Thought of the Day

Rock River, Byron, IL

Rock River, Byron, IL

From my private and bountiful Humble Genius Library of My Writings,  a selected bit of wisdom:

27 June 2006

Why, for what purpose, for whom, is an essay, or any writing, written?

***

The finding of moments in creative nonfiction–you seldom have these in real time. My moments of realizing meaning happen most often while I’m writing, rather than at the real-time moment, during the living.

***

I don’t want to publish things about my parents, defining them, while they and I still live, you know? I don’t want to confirm — fix, cement — meaning. It always seems fakey to talk about moments and meanings [with the people with whom one has these meanings].

***

Crafting a text — text isn’t life. I knew that, but I’m wondering, why write my life at all? Why not be a poet? Why not do writing that doesn’t require me to “use up” my life? Roger Angell said when you write your life stories, they aren’t your memories anymore. [This attribution was probably from one of his New Yorker essays written not long before this 2006 date.]

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