Response to E. Welty

“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.

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One response to “Response to E. Welty

  1. I am the opposite and tend to only write about the event that stick in my head all day or for several days and that force me to write them down simply to move on to the next thing. But I think you have a purpose in a daily recounting of this or that because like you say, it does lead to seeing and reflecting on the truth we find in humanity in a new light which only leads us back to our own life and analysis.

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