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Ends Always Justify The Means


There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I am normally without a clue as to how my creation will unfold, the path it will follow, the paths it will avoid, where it will ultimately end. I take an idea or a vague concept or a passion and begin scribbling the words onto a surface. As I engage in the physical act of writing, I take many blind leaps, step forward in faith that the journey will unfold in a satisfactory way, that the story or essay or poem will begin to reveal itself, that it will take shape with every scratch on the paper. Sometimes the shape is sharp, most times it is blurred. The shape lies hidden in the lines of the paper waiting patiently to be freed. I am completely comfortable not knowing what will be released, content to meander, to probe many paths until one winds it’s way to a conclusion, content to reach whatever destination awaits.

At times, I would love to look around the corner and get a glimpse of my final destination but I can’t, can’t see around the bend, can only see far enough ahead to the next couple of words or, if I am lucky, to the next turn of phrase. I must continue writing right up to that bend, to the fork in the path and, frequently stumble, before I catch a glimpse of the next possible words to scribe. At time the path is more twisted than I expected and I get lost. Normally, though, it is simpler, much simpler because simple truths tend to be more universal in nature, more easily comprehended than the complicated gyrations concocted by the human mind.

Sometimes I have a destination planned. More often than not, the plan I create bears little resemblance to the one on the page at the end of the journey. And I am okay with that. I am okay not knowing where I am going because the final assembly of words and the story they reveal is the one that was supposed to be told, reveals the truth that needed to be heard, is the voice that was waiting to speak. It is only by laboring through the means of the writing process that I understand what is supposed to be recorded, how a piece is supposed to reveal itself and the view at the trails end. In my writing, the end always justifies the means.

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