I saw the supermoon this week. It hung luminescent yellow in the low horizon.
From a scientific perspective, not too different from any full moon. But it was there, and it carried an emotion because it emerged in the first clear night sky we’d had over Wellington since the worst storm in years. And something struck me. Could I write about the emotions and mood it conveyed? Could I imagine how others might receive it, and write about them? Perhaps.
But also, maybe not.
I’ve spent over 40 years learning about writing and then doing it. I started when I was seven. I was formally trained in fiction writing. I’ve written every day I can since forever – not just books in my academic field but also as a freelance journalist and writer. Here’s my list. And I’ve done a lot of other work in the industry.
Yet from this experience I know that words are simply imperfect vehicles with which we try, as writers, to express the perfection of thoughts and concepts.
All too often I have the idea in my mind – and cannot translate that to the page to my satisfaction. The crystal perfection of concept, which cannot be conveyed by words.
The real skill of writing, I think, is the aspiration towards that end point – which is unattainable. Naturally.
Yet we must try – and in that attempt, perhaps surprise ourselves. And our readers.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013