Seattle, Atlanta, Edmonton, Victoria, Bellingham, Nanaimo, the Sunshine Coast, Ottawa – it feels like I’ve been travelling or planning on travelling for months. I’ve got plans for New York, Seattle again, Houston and Dallas, and the southern part of Washington state. I’ve been crossing the continent – mostly for conferences, book signings, workshops – and I’ve been enjoying every minute of it.
I’m even over my fear of flying – familiarity breading contempt, I guess. Okay, I’m not quite over it, but close enough that I can fly to Ottawa and New York all by myself which, compared to three years ago, is nothing short of a miracle.
And that’s my segue into writing.
When you think about it, writing is a miracle. This perfect thing – because it is perfect – comes from your head into your fingertips and out onto the page. That’s enough of a miracle to be going on with but it gets even better. Add in a reader and it becomes a communication between two people. Those two people never have to meet, have a conversation, talk on the telephone or correspond in any way. The writer/reader communication can be between people on opposite sides of the planet or between you and a person long dead.
It can be a communication between a man and a woman, an adult and a child, a communication between someone who died four hundred years ago and a roomful of scholars, an entire movie theatre full of patrons. You can be a recluse or a party animal but if you’re a writer, someone will read your work.
Writing is the one of the ways we humans have always expressed ourselves – and always will. It won’t matter if the technology changes, if we read stories on our Blackberrys or a cell phones, on a computer built into our wrist or somehow wired directly into the neurons of our brains. The way we do these things – writing and reading – doesn’t matter because it’s the act of communication that counts.
Whether we’re published or not, whether we’re still mostly writing in our journals or we’re selling in bookstores all over Canada, we are communicating. And once those words are out of our heads and onto the page, we can communicate forever. And that’s a miracle.