I tell a friend, “Write!”
This is in one of our regular correspondence and as we keep each other updated not only of writing but of life. Our correspondence that started as critique partners has become something of a ritual, over the years. It’s an exchange and form that affords me time to sit down, be silent and really listen to her thoughts poured onto the page.
My friend and I live in different countries that have been impacted differently by the COVID-19 pandemic. So, when she says to me, “I cannot tell you how messed up all of this has made me. I can’t seem to write — not even the blog.”
I respond, “Words will come to you. Perhaps in a bundle of mess. Write them down in your journal as clumsy as they come.”
I take time to process things: ideas, conversations and experiences (even this pandemic), sometimes to my own detriment…
After a month since that correspondence I now realise I could have told her even though she might feel as if she isn’t writing, for me her letters are a calming source of inspiration. They make me contemplate my own challenges and privileges.
“Write back soon!”