On Writing

“Many think that writing means writing down ideas, insights, or visions.  They are of the opinion that they first must have something to say before they can put it on paper. For them, writing is little more than recording preexisting thoughts.  But with this approach, true writing is impossible.  Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us.  The writing itself reveals to us what is alive in us.  The deepest satisfaction of writing is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write.  To write is to embark on a journey of which we do not know the final destination.  Thus, writing requires a great act of trust.  We have to say to ourselves: ‘I do not yet know what I carry in my heart, but I trust that it will emerge as I write.'”

—Henri Nouwen

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