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July 2011

the imperative to write

How often do we think about composition or writing as an imperative?  I have been thinking about a quote by Marianne Williamson, from A Return to Love, where she writes about this imperative:

"How could Leondardo da Vinci not have painted?  How could Shakespeare not have written?  In Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke tells a  young writer to write only if he has to.  We are to do what there is a deep psychological and emotional imperative for us to do.  That's our point of power, the source of our brilliance.  Our power is not rationally or willfully called forth.  It's a divine dispensation, an act of grace" (166).