Learning to be Reverent
"I honestly think in order to be a writer,
you have to learn to be reverent. If not, why are you writing? Why
are you here? Let's think of reverence as awe, as presence in and
openness to the world.
Anyone who wants to can be surprised by the
beauty and pain of the natural world, of the human mind and heart,
and can try to capture just that—the details, the nuance, what
is."—Ann Lamott in her book
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
You've probably heard your teacher
speak of details, but not in the context of "awe." In Ann Lamott's
view, our own response to the details and our "openness" is what
makes the difference.
With all its troubles, the world we
inhabit is unique and special. Communicating that to others will
make our work as writers more than worthwhile.
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