“You are — your life, and nothing else.”

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Photo by Alexandra on Unsplash

To become a writer, I had to learn to interrupt, to speak up, to speak a little louder, and then louder, and then to just speak in my own voice which is not loud at all.

— Deborah Levy

It’s been a while since I have posted a blog article.

I have been meaning to do so for quite some time now. Many ideas constantly clutter my headspace. Loud, obnoxious, and furious ideas begging to be released into the world.

Would the world care?

I find myself waiting for the perfect moment to write.

I tell myself that tomorrow will be the perfect day for writing, with a fresh start. I will wake up at dawn, and sit with a cup of coffee to write for hours before I head to work. It is the idealized writer’s routine. 

Still, tomorrow never comes, at  least not the way I intended it. Tomorrow is only the perfect moment in my head.

I dream of the perfect moment of ample inspiration to come out of nowhere with the perfect article magically appearing in my head ready to be released into the world. I imagine myself furiously typing out the words on my keyboard.

Both moments are equally rare.


Right before I sat down to write this very piece, I told myself I could just do it tomorrow instead, a plot by my brain to avoid going through the painful process of putting my ideas and thoughts into words and releasing them to the world wide web.

My brain is a pro at convincing me it’s much better, and more fun, to scroll through mindless but entertaining online content until I fall asleep from sheer screen-exhaustion. I often fall for it because it is much painless compared to exposing myself through my writing.

Tonight, however, it felt right to write.

I pulled out my laptop. I thought about writing tomorrow instead, but began typing the words anyway.

Earlier today, I impulsively bought a book I found while looking for Michelle Obama’s Becoming to gift to a friend (a must read!).

The book was titled Things I Don’t Want to Know: On Writing, the first in Deborah Levy’s three-part “living autobiography” on writing and womanhood.

I’ll be honest, I bought it mostly because of the quote that opened up the first chapter.

You are — your life, and nothing else.

— JEAN-PAUL SARTRE, NO EXIT (1944)

I wanted more.

To speak up is not about speaking louder, it is about feeling entitled to voice a wish.

— Deborah Levy, Things I Don’t Want to Know: On Writing

At that moment, I knew I needed to write.

Inspired, I pulled out my notebook and wrote down some things I know, or at least I think I know.

I wrote down, writing can save me.

The best way I have found to write is to view writing is as an act of communicating truth in simple terms.

I also wrote down, the good life is an activity — to live is to act; to be is to do.

It is not enough to simply think about writing, or planning to write.

I must write.

Writing allows me to speak louder without raising my voice. Writing allows me to voice my wishes, desires, and ideas out onto the world.

Note to self: write more.


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