Writing To Reach

I have a bad habit of writing letters and never mailing them. It isn’t that I forget, it’s that my writer’s anxiety gets in the way. Usually it takes a number of discarded pages to finish a letter then, the minute the envelope is sealed, I start obsessing. Does that paragraph on the second page read exactly right? Will he or she understand what I meant when I said…? What if they read that and think…? Sometimes I rip open the envelope, re-read, correct, and double check. Other times, I tuck it away somewhere and guiltily forget about it.

As a writer, my joy in communication often gets ensnarled in my delicate ego. It isn’t enough to say something honestly, I want to say it perfectly. This is, I fear, a professional snare that threatens to stop me being as fully loving and human as I should be. What is writing after all, but a way of connecting? Words exist to help us form better, stronger bonds and to enhance our understanding of each other. When form becomes more important than this function the work, the writing, becomes a mockery. It is to get caught up in abstract and forget about the concrete, but when I do, I’m less of a writer, and less of a person.

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