Writing Is a Debt of Honour

I’m addicted to TED Talks on Youtube ­– a whole treasure of free, advanced level lectures. And the best part is the variety of subject matters available. Of course, searching TED Talks and writing generates a large number of hits, but I want to share the following one with you.

Writer Anne Lamott shares 12 truths she learned from life and writing. I enjoyed most parts of the lecture, but lessons 6 and 7 are specifically about writing (at around 6m 40s if you want to skip ahead):

I found what she says about writing motivating. How it is a debt of honour, and how it writing can fill the Swiss-cheesy holes in you (and not publication). How the most important things about writing are bird-by-bird and god-awful first drafts (watch it to understand).

As an aside, I also have a barrier when writing ‘badly’ about people I know. Even in a fictionalized setting I feel guilty. Her comment helps: “If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

Vanessa Deij