All the abundance we possess
A writing lab and prompt on vulnerability and inspiration
In this post:
Brilliant writing from our fellows spurred by this weeks open mic 🎤.
Big questions about showing up to the page with our whole hearts.
Your prompt on what inspires you to write.
Welcome to Flight School.
On Monday, 9/11, I tossed up a fast post you can see here based on the historic significance of the day. With no disrespect intended, it was a last minute decision. I didn’t spend hours upon hours writing it. I didn’t send the post to be copy edited.
And yet, something magical happened: A door opened and the community aspect of Flight School took flight.
Skylark: I was twelve and in seventh grade at a Catholic elementary school when my math teach burst into our English classroom looking severely and unusually sweaty.
Carolyn: My fingers in the carpet began to tick as I counted. I can't remember what I counted. Maybe just numbers. Maybe just a way to remind myself that I was there, in a living room in Portland.
Doug: I called my wife to tell her to watch the news and that I loved her. I called my sister in California and she cried over the phone. Who could work after news like this?
Patricia: I remember the feel against my face of my husband's worsted wool softened by my tears. And the hard edge of his leather Oxfords cutting into my ankle.
See those comments in full here.
The writers who commented weren’t being clever, weren’t trying to impress, weren’t trying to sell something. They weren’t even themselves in the sense of their personalities and quirks. They were pure witnesses of something unimaginable and yet twenty-two years later were able to detail that moment of impact and articulate an underlying truth of their human experience.
What tripped the lock?
Was it talking about death, or the witnessing of death?
Or was it the collective nature of the experience juxtaposed against the individual perceptions?
“We do need to bring to our writing, over and over again, all the abundance we possess. To be able, to be ready, to enter into the minds and hearts of our own people, all of them, to comprehend them and then to make characters and plots in stories that in honesty and with honesty reveal them to us, in whatever situation we live through in our own times: this is the continuing job, and it’s no harder now than it ever was, I suppose.
Eudora Welty - On Writing, 2002
Do we do bring all the abundance we possess to our work?
The answer on Flight School this week was “yes!” These writers brought that abundance and entered the minds and hearts of themselves and their people (and the reader by association). Well done.
Your turn: Prompt
When do you bring all the abundance you possess to your work? And why?
I’m listening, J.