“It is the business of writing, and the responsibility of the writer, to disentangle the significant—in character, incident, setting, mood, everything—from the random and meaningless and irrelevant that in real life surround and beset it.” –E. Welty
This is the biggest challenge for me as a writer because when I write for myself, I write to preserve time and memory. I write to be able to say to myself one day, “Wait, what did I do for those two years? I can’t even remember” and be able to open up a slew of journals and find out just what I did during those two years.
Currently, therefore, my journals consist of many daily “random and meaningless and irrelevant” facts from my life that I may not need to spend time recording. It is important for me, however, to write these small truths to provide a base for the significant.
But Welty is correct. It is the responsibility of a reader to strain the sand from the diamonds. The diamonds are the truths that all people, if they choose to care, will benefit from by understanding humanity in a new light. The more observational truth we accumulate, whether or not we observed it and whether or not we agree with the perspectives, the better suited we are for every life endeavor.