“If you notice something, it’s because it’s important.
But what you notice depends on what you allow yourself to notice,
And that depends on what you feel authorized, permitted to notice
In a world where we’re trained to disregard our perceptions.
Who’s going to give you the authority to feel that what you notice is important?
It will have to be you.
The authority you feel has a great deal to do with how you write and what you write,
With your ability to pay attention to the shape and meaning of your own thoughts
And the value of your own perceptions.
Being a writer is an act of perpetual self-authorization.
No matter who you are.
Only you can authorize yourself.
You do that by writing well, by constant discovery.
No one else can authorize you.
This doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s as gradual as the improvement in your writing.
There are moments in “Several short sentences about writing” when I find myself pausing and giving Verlyn Klinkenborg a hat tip for articulating a complex idea so beautifully.
I don’t think of myself as a “writer.” But, I’ve been writing for over a decade on this blog. And, his notes on the gradual process of paying attention to what we notice, valuing our perceptions, and going through the act of perpetual self-authorization summarize the journey beautifully.