Why Write

There will be thunder then. Remember me.
Say ‘ She asked for storms.’ The entire
world will turn the colour of crimson stone,
and your heart, as then, will turn to fire.

That day, in Moscow, a true prophecy,
when for the last time I say goodbye,
soaring to the heavens that I longed to see,
leaving my shadow here in the sky.
-Anna Akhmatova, poem Thunder

(Hat tip to Margo Aaron for inspiring this blog post)

Don’t ask the question, “Should I write?” (Insert any kind of artform for “write”)

Instead ask, “Do I want to write?”

We need and want your art. Now more than ever. But do you have the desire to create it? And, do you have the guts to be vulnerable and share it with all of us?

George Saunders tells a story on Cheryl Strayed’s new podcast Sugar Calling about the Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova…

“[Anna’s] husband was shot and her son arrested during the Stalinist purges.

One day, she was standing outside the prison with hundreds of other women in similar situations. It’s Russian cold, and they have to go there every day, wait for hours in this big, open yard, then get the answer that today and every day, there will be no news.

But every day, they keep coming back.

A woman, recognizing [Anna] as the famous poet, says, ‘Poet, can you write this?’ And Akhmatova thinks about it for a second and goes, ‘Yes.’”

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