I’m sure this has all been written a thousand times, by different people with different morals, values, opinions, goals, and past life experiences. People who have learned to deal with suffering and ecstasy in a similar way. But this is my take on it, how my pain, joy, grief, rage, and passion have all shaped how I think about it. The it is literature, and more specifically, the gravitational pull of literature.
Sitting down to write this post, I already knew what I wanted it to be about, but coming up with a title seemed to me a little more demanding. A title is such a daunting word to me, because this is the thing people are going to read first. The words and how you somehow string them together could make or break whether people even read it. Do you think so many people would have read The Hunger Games or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone if the title didn’t draw them in to begin with? But sitting down and staring at a blank screen for a while, the concept came to me. Gravity is what centers everything on earth to the ground, holding us to where we need to be to exist. Without gravity where would we be? Circling back, where would any of us be without literature or writing?
Coming to a sudden realization a few days ago, reading and writing is a vast part of my life no one really knows about, that I can’t imagine going through a day without. It’s this little secret world I can escape into after a bad day, and imagine worlds with witches and wizards, or the most romantic relationships you can think of. I can twist choices and decisions, writing a whole new outcome with millions of alternative endings. It’s where all the judgement and hate all seem to wash away as my pen scribbles along notebook pages, or fingers fly across the keyboard. My writing is my soul, heart, and feelings all compressed into a five paged short story or twenty line poem. That’s why it is utterly terrifying to ever share it with anyone, knowing it’s not just grammar or punctuation their critiquing, but you. In my mind, I can be whoever I want to be. The rebellious, badass teenager with an attitude problem and who smokes cigarets in black and white aesthetic pictures, or the strong brave hearted heroine born into battle in a world with dragons and monsters.
Having the ability to come home and open the spine of a book, and burying myself in mounds of blankets with my tumblr – looking fairy lights is possibly the most satisfying feeling. Because similar to writing, I know the minute I get immersed in Cassandra Clare’s shadowhunting world or Sarah J Maas’s empire of deciet, the outside world is shut off. I don’t hear the drama buzzing with who’s dating who at school, or whatever worries are bothering my mind. Living without literature of writing would seem to be hell on earth for me, living without expressing my emotions in a artisitc way through the the endless river of words that pour out of me.
Thinking bigger than just myself, where would our culture be if the greatest writers of all time had decided to follow a different path. A path they were guarenteed pay and stability, without the concern of where their next meal would come from or how they were going to support their families.
I hope everyone reading this has their own version of “the gravitional pull of literature”, may it be writing/reading, music, playing an instrument, painting, drawing, singing, or anything else.