My regular Sunday morning routine involves listening to Michael Enright’s The Sunday Edition on CBC Radio. This morning, I stopped dead as I listened. Enright interviewed Rachel Joyce about her debut novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and as she described her writing, she also described mine. She said,
The reason you write things is because you don’t completely understand them.
Either this is unusual, or rarely expressed so clearly. This is why it stopped me when I heard it. I discovered it for myself over time over the years I’ve added new posts to this site.
Explaining a concept or a rationalization to another person requires that you understand it. You’ll know how well you’re explaining it by the questions you receive in response. In writing, you want to devote extra time to flesh out your explanation to avoid questions because of the extra time and complication involved in the turn-around time in getting the questions answered. The first time I really saw this happen was when Canada legalized same-sex marriage. I know that marrying a man is not something that interests me, and while I was pretty certain that I believe others are should have the right to marry who they please, I wasn’t sure of the specific reasons behind my thinking. As part of my reading in preparation for writing about the topic, I examined the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the reasons for my feelings not only became very clear to me, but me feelings on the issue took on a more firm foundation.
This has happened many times over the years. Other times, my feelings about a topic have entirely change because of this same preparation before writing about a topic. It’s an invaluable process that I’m reasonably certain I would not go though if there were no one out there in the tubes reading. I don’t thank you often for visiting my corner of the Internet, but know that I’m grateful because in a very real, albeit indirect, way, you’ve made me more self-aware, and that’s a trait that’s not entirely common.
Thank you for sharing the journey with me.