[Glorious illustration by Adrian Tomine as featured in The New Yorker: from here]
I’ve always been a quiet, introverted type: a girl whose mouth never ran at the same speed as her brain. But my mind is always dancing, always working through some steps, tapping along to some invisible rhythm. While my body is small and still – my lips closed and my eyes wide – on the inside I’m all jive.
Writing makes my little girl heart sing. She climbs on top of her wooden box and tap dances to the breeze. In writing, I make sense.
The more I write, the bigger my voice gets. I find more stories that beg telling. The words writhe underneath my skin, and I wonder if I might burst before I can get them on to the page. They make my heart thrash in my chest like a kite dancing on its string.
Jeanette Winterson says “books are not hiding places, they are finding places.” I’ve never read a book where I wasn’t trying to find something of myself reflected in the text, and the ‘you too?’ moment comes when you realise that’s why so many of us come to the page. Millions of souls turning pages hoping they will stumble across a piece to fill a hole.
Ultimately I write to teach my own children that the best life you can lead is the one where you find what you love, and just do that. Find the right song, and you can dance all night.
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