The Write Life was envisaged as a daily column where contributors could share knowledge and insight on the craft of writing, the blocks and breaks that we, as writers, experience along the way and how, seemingly against all odds, lost in that ‘midnight moment’s forest’, we, like Ted Hughes, discover that ‘the page is printed.’
But, as writers we are also all chroniclers of history, whether our own, our community’s, our country’s or the world’s. Sometimes events occur that are so profound, they shake us to our foundations. Our perception shifts and with it our writing.
At The Write Life, we have delayed publication of our scheduled articles because we wanted to provide space for our community of contributors and our readers to reflect on George Floyd’s death and what it meant for us all. We needed it both as human beings and as writers. There were responses that many contributors burned to express and we considered it our duty at The Write Life to provide space for analysis of an event that may shape the world and may ultimately shape our future writing.
If we now return to publishing our scheduled articles, it is not because we are turning our backs on George Floyd and the events that continue to engulf America. Indeed, we will return to these issues, and other issues that are important to our contributors and to our poetry, prose and fiction as they unfold. Our task of writing remains and with it our aim of hitting that sweet spot in our prose and poetry so that we can speak out eloquently and with purpose against forces that would strip us of our voice and our humanity.
As bombs fell on London during the Second World War, T S Eliot, wracked by ill health, wrote ‘History is now.’ We can all understand that as we watch the current chaos unfold. He concluded by affirming that ‘All manner of thing shall be well’ when ‘the fire and the rose are one.’ Our words can bring impossible forces together.
So, tomorrow, as we explore our craft as writers with new eyes, we will remember George Floyd and all that has happened subsequently – and we will look at how, as writers and poets and truth tellers, we can each do our jobs well and aspire to do them that little bit better.
See you all tomorrow.