A couple of weeks ago I received a letter from a young writer named Nina Tomkiewicz. Because she so beautifully captures the desire to write, the pull of it, that I asked if I could quote from her letter here:
“Recently I have discovered that I love to write. I’ve always been a journaler, but I never took myself seriously when I wrote. I thought that because I wasn’t writing professionally or taking classes, I must not really be a writer. Yet I wrote anyway, because I found myself transformed and comforted by putting words onto a page. I enjoyed watching my handwriting change dependent upon what mood I was in. I enjoyed the voices that dictated my prose before it became prose; these voices often longed to write even when I wasn’t next to a pen and paper.
I went to the library last week and looked at books on writing. I was beginning to take my interest in writing more seriously. I began to think, “Perhaps it’s not just something I do now and then, but something that I need to do to feel alive.” I stood in the aisle at the library and I felt giddy and excited looking at all these books on writing. I pulled yours out, Writing and the Spiritual Life. I am almost finished reading it…
I still do not know what place writing will have in my life ultimately, but as for now, I am enjoying making time for myself to write everyday. I try. Sometimes there are less words and sometimes there are many more. Reading your book has gotten me comfortable with the ebb and flow of both scenarios…. It’s like I finally opened up the aperture on my lens and now the picture is clear because there is enough light to illuminate it.”