Tonight my Creative Writing class had its last reading with a professor who’s leaving next year, much to our dismay. If I’m sticking to the vein of honesty I’ve opened, then I’ll say that before I started the class I had a deep feeling like I stood on a scale: Having so much experience editing my own work, and holding a freelance gig writing book reviews for a website, I knew that I would have to be gentle with the beginners.
The first class held that tipping point, and I think that by being honest in front of each other helped every single one of us open up not only as a class, but as people. The bare evisceration of our souls took hold of us, and we none of us willed to be healed from this marvelous cutting of our marrow. I could see tonight that the support we lent each other became our morphine for when the pain was there and couldn’t leave–it became our bandage for the surface wounds, the salve for our burns, the pool where we shared tears. As I write this, my heart swells in fondness of each and every one of the people I came to know, and I knew leaving the reading tonight that I wanted to impart something in my blog for whoever may read this.
We are a generation of writers who know how to open up when the world tells us to hold our mouths close and keep on keeping on, no matter the cost to us personally. That is not the case. When we share with each other the most painful, the most joyful, the most fleeting thoughts–when we put ourselves on the line to find another soul that may stand up and say, “You know what? Me too!”–when once we become the voice of the voiceless, we begin to understand compassion, mercy, love, the importance of simply being together and simply being. Only honesty can pull us together. Nothing can tear us apart as the crimson threads holding us together tighten and double-stitch back on themselves. God has designed us to be humans, people, the only race simultaneously capable of speaking truth and lies.
When writers are honest, they speak for the mother in the apartment who thinks she’s alone. They tell the homeless man or woman who finds a book that they have a chance at hope and love. They convince the addict struggling against drugs, alcohol, dessert, sex, or whatever that he or she can reach out just beyond themselves to a loving hand willing to pull them up. God created people. PLURAL. We were not meant to be alone. And if He put us here to live and work together, how dare we sit back and cry wolf at one another over the stupidest little quandaries. We have no right to fish for the speck in our neighbor’s eye when we can’t even see it for the log in our own. No. We weren’t meant to be nitpickers. We were meant to be compassionate fellow men and women helping each other up.
Writers are the voices of the voiceless in a world where one book–one Word–can change the entire world should one person grab a hold of it. Writers are hands and hearts extended to the downtrodden and hopeless. And if a writer inspires nothing, silences someone in spite, makes you feel anything from self-loathing to undeserving of love simply because you are, then that person is not a writer. Words abused are souls bruised.
Keep writing, whatever you do. We are a generation of writers. We are a generation of voices. And we were meant to stand as lights in this darkness.