Thursday, August 11, 2022

Thursday Thoughts...

"It is my contention that the process of reading is part of the process of writing, the necessary completion without which writing can hardly be said to exist." 

Margaret Atwood

As soon as I read this I imagined circles. Circles, beginning in one place, looping around to another and starting all over again. Circles that form, get added to, re-form again and on they go. Looping, feeding back...

I think that might describe the notion of reading leading to writing leading to reading leading to writing and so on.

There is also that very Zen-like question in there - if nobody reads it, was it ever really written?

In some ways, I guess if nobody (not even yourself) reads it, then perhaps it is as if it were never there.  But that might downplay the role of writing as a process to clarify thinking and thoughts; of releasing worries concerns and anxieties.  The act of writing itself can matter a lot. 

As a writer who has an audience however, I imagine that Ms Atwood finds that knowing folk are reading her words, probably does complete something in one way, and finds it also becomes an act of co-creation in another. This is a thought I could ponder for a long time...


  1. when I first read the quote, my sense was that one reads to build a store of words and phrases with which to write one's own thoughts ...

    1. So that might be like an internal loop where one reads and collects words and pops them away until they appear again, ready for writing. My external loop with an audience is more performative isn't it - putting it out there to be read by others. I think it all turns on the word 'completion' much to ponder!


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.