The Confessional Letters – Introduction

Dear Writer,

All good things need an introduction. And the reason why they need an introduction is because they are not only good things – they are the best of things.

Great concepts, great ideas, great works require a presentation before they can make a home deep in the confines of our minds.

Today I will talk about writing. Writing is a good thing. It’s one of the good things. No, it’s one of the best things. But I won’t introduce writing.

You see, writing is one of those things that require no introduction. It’s a huge thing – call it a concept, an idea or a great work if you will – but it does not abide by the standard things in life nor does it answer to the proper rules of doing and defining them.

Writing is its own thing. Writing is vague. Writing cannot be delimited or outlined. So how can we talk about it? And more importantly, why do we talk about it?

Well, we talk about it simply because it’s there. Just like the air we breathe, it will never cease to exist. It’s something that might surge out of us at any moment with no predefined triggers.

It’s also unpredictable and varies from one person to another. Not all of us are born or blessed with the touch of the writer, but the very few of us who are (and who recognize it) belong to a special circle.

That’s why I’m addressing you, dear writer. I’m addressing you because I think you’re one of those few who acknowledge the tremendous blessing they have been so lucky to receive. Don’t think of me as a friend or a counselor or a guide – think of me as that small voice in your head pushing you toward the word. Always pushing and pushing until you pick up the pen or typer or any other instrument and start writing.

Because that’s what writing is: a continuous movement. It flows and goes and comes back and extends and shrinks and embeds itself in everything around us and comes bouncing right back at us. It’s unpredictable.

It also requires something special, beside a small grain of talent: a spark of insanity to be able to see things and portray them as viciously and brutally as possible.

As a writer, you’ll never have to fill in the role of peacemaker. You’ll never have to spare anyone from critique or harm or keep everyone happy or safe from danger. There are heroes for that. Writers are not heroes – they are the martyrs of truth and beauty and revelations and carry those pillars like crosses on their backs.

They are mutilated, they are looked down on, they are scorned for what they do.

So why do it? What is the motivating factor to answer the calling and become a loyal servant to this noble cause?

It’s because, like I already mentioned, writers are insane. I am insane. The greats were all insane. You might be a little insane too. We are unstable, but it’s that same instability that makes us perceive things all the more clearly and write about them with ample detail.

We communicate things other people don’t see or hear or feel. We transcribe things from other worlds that are yet to be known or visited. We channel sensations people often feel but cannot name or describe.

We lay foundations for others. Think of writing as a long list of general guidelines on every little detail recorded since the beginning of humanity. It’s like a dictionary, a reference for others to dive into and look up whatever they’re going through and have something relatable in their hands.

That’s as much of an introduction as I can give you to the craft. Think more of it as a series of pointers that will light your way as you go. It is a bumpy road but all the greats are smiling at you now that you’ve joined their illustrious circle.

As for me, you don’t need to know me, just think of me as that little voice in your head pushing you deeper and deeper into the world of the word…

And remember, all good things need an introduction.

***

Be sure to check out my debut novel, A Road Away From Home, now available on Amazon and in paperback.

A Road Away From Home – Hanna Abi Akl

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