The Best Right Answer
I have just published a collection of some of my favorite essays and stories posted over the years in this space. It took me many tries to arrive at a title for the collection, eventually settling on Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion. When I say settle, I mean just that. In my heart I wanted to call it A Bunch of Things I Wrote, but this doesn’t have quite the marketing zing! a publisher is normally looking for. It wasn’t until I began planning my appearances and what I would talk about once I appeared that I understood how well the book was actually titled. This space is dedicated to what it means to write, publish, and hopefully live within yourself. I don’t believe there is actually any other way we can live, but I know from experience that humans, myself most definitely included, will do all they can to find any other possible way to write, publish, or live.
There is just so much outside of us to look at and think about. There are other people’s stories, there are publishing houses and book reviewers and readers. Why the whole world is outside of us, all the money and food and sexual partners – it’s all out there. And yet not one single answer of value exists out there. Not in textbooks, or on Google, or on your granddaddy’s knee.
The book, then – like this column – is only a reminder of what knowing an answer feels like. I must remind myself daily – hourly even. No, I must remind myself with every single breath. In it goes, and with it, hopefully, my own attention. If not, I am lost in a blink, lost in a forest of things that already exist, lost in a forest of other people’s opinions and desires. But If I follow that breath I arrive where I began, within myself again, home to life’s only order and the best right answer I have ever known.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.