Writer Inside, Writer Outside

I’ve been cramming in the reading this week. My bookshelves overflow with library books. I have over 100 books checked out. I thought that number sounded ridiculously high and decided I’d better start reading so the library doesn’t think I’m a book hoarder. (I am.) I just finished When Women Were Birds, Fifty-Four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams. She writes about the death of her mother and the cryptic books she left behind; all of her cloth-bound journals. But they were filled with stark white pages, blank, not a sheet tarnished with ink. Every single one of them.

I had never heard of this author before, but I fell in love reading her words, a sort of love letter back to her mother for the gift of hundreds of bare, white pages. Near the end of the book I came across a short chapter, just a few lines, but they were full of force. They spoke truth to me as a mother and writer.

Can you be inside and outside at the same time?

I think this is where I live.

I think this is where most women live.

I know this is where writers live.

Inside to write. Outside to glean.

Powerful words. Terry Tempest Williams, you have a new fan.




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