Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Slice of Life Tuesday: Writing to Create the Chain That Binds

Note: I'm linking up with the Two Writing Teachers Blog for Slice of Life Tuesday for my post today! 

I spotted the above quote from Charles Dickens in a book I read over winter break (A Wife of Noble Character by Yvonne Georgina Puig, which is a retelling of Wharton’s House of Mirth). Normally, I give quotes at the beginning of chapters a cursory glance at best, but for some reason, this one stuck with me. I think it was the simplicity and the truthfulness of it.

So I wrote it down, thinking that would be the end of it. A nice quote that would take up a page in my journal. Not much else.

But as the days passed, I found myself repeatedly thinking about Dickens’s words and the chains I have forged over the years. Many times in my life, seemingly inconsequential actions proved to be moments that would redefine my life, moments that I would look back at and think, “That’s where it all began.” Moments where a beautiful chain that connects me to someone or something else originated.

When this happens, it always seems like nothing at first. It is only time that lets me truly see the impact, the links of gold or thorns that fit neatly into the next to create the memories that cannot be erased or broken, no matter how painful they might be. The parts are what make the whole so stunning and, in some cases, mind-boggling in its power and importance.

Writing is like that for me. When I write, I add a new link to the chain I will never stop forging with my words, the chain that tethers me to the stories that I need to tell.

And in the moment, my words often feel like nothing of importance. Writing is hard. I doubt myself. When I look down at a day’s work, at times, I scoff at it, sure that it is inconsequential. Nothing memorable. A chain, perhaps, but a flimsy one riddled with thorns.

But I write anyway, because I know that, sometimes, what's hardest is starting.

I write because I know that the beauty is in the process, and that stories are built by link after link of words chained together to create something that will bind and connect.

I write because I know that, despite my doubts, someday, I will be able to stand back and trace the chains of my words back to that first time I pressed my pen to paper, to that now-unforgettable moment where my story first began.


  1. I love the image of our stories being linked by chains of ...iron, gold, thorns or flowers. They all belong to our stories. I am finding the older I get, the more I need those chains and stories! Beautiful post.

  2. What a beautiful, thoughtful post. I love the idea of pondering the birth of the first link of a new chain and how this relates to writing. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Such a beautiful reflection on the power of writing and all the joy it brings us! Writing is a chain, one that we {hopefully} build every day. Happy new year, Katie!

  4. My favorite kind of slice: a slice about writing! I've never considered a chain as a metaphor for writing before, and now you've got me thinking. Our writing does feel inconsequential most days when we sit down to do it--so inconsequential that it's easy not to do it, to tell ourselves it's not important enough or valuable enough. But the meaning and power come through that sitting down and doing and keeping on. Only in that way can we discover and create new meanings.