• Jessica James

'Why I Write' with Joan Didion

Updated: Jan 5, 2019


“Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would have been no reason to write. I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” – Joan Didion..



We all experience an attraction towards experiences that scare us, and equally to those things we believe will bring us happiness. To answer the calls from both extremes heightens the excitement and curiosity of the swirling world around us. To bring awareness into our innate human failure to understand a single part of it makes writers write.


I fail to believe that my purpose here on earth is for anything other than getting myself profoundly lost in the sea of people, places and my own imagination. That I can sink so deeply into the sounds of love, loss and life as they blend and bleed together in magnificent journeys. Whatever else shall I spend time on, when I could somehow connect dots that otherwise lie in solitude abysses of their own creation.


At times, completely ignorant to their mutual surrounding white seas. Their tiny hands reaching so desperately around themselves for safety and security but if only they knew the length of their arms to recolour that white sea, black. To write, is to not only connect a dot but as many dots humanly possible as long as you have breath.


I write with an unnerving sense of deep peace for every cell in my body contributes to the collaboration of energy between heart, mind and fingertips. It’s everything. Precisely down to the dream of creating works and works and works. Exploring every idea imaginable in book after book. Stringing together the names and stories to the faces and characters that swim around in the ether of our consciousness - Mine, ours. What if everyone wrote a short story of a single dream they had? With breath, we write.


How would the world look if every man shared his greatest fear on paper and we acknowledged him, heard his words and told him he would be okay even if that fear presented itself to him here in this life because we know it now. We know his vulnerability and we are willing to set aside the very things keeping our dots from connecting, in order to truly understand what this life is doing to us. (Or with us? Or for us?)


Why is it that I cannot live a life as a writer? What is the true reason I stink so much at committing to their horrendously long degrees. When I close my eyes, cease to evaluate, and just be, I see typewriters; I see rich dark chocolate wood tables and deep green forests; I smell hot teas brewing and low couches hosting discussions for the curious. No fear.


I see an acceptance of sinking back into our minds and an excusal from the rest of the world because I don’t want to participate in the ludicrous systems of our creation. Each time someone voluntarily ostracises himself or herself, another straw is placed on the camel’s back. Dot. Dot. Dot.


You see the gates have been opened. Can you feel it too? What happens when you start down this road of complete unconditional love with your deepest companion. I am scared because I feel at ease here - blissfully ignorant to the repercussions of failing to complete another attempt at the system? I so desperately want to write more. Finally courageously embracing this, yet I am acutely aware of the opposing masculine energy surrounding my choices and see a face calling me down to resurface again. Down from my clouds to the fresh air beneath me, it’s backwards and makes complete sense in my head because grounding is in a sense, a breath of fresh air but the air up in the deep waters is laced with sweet sensations and promises of security too.


Can she write more than just her feelings? How far is she willing to push the craft beyond expectations. How does she continue to pay the necessary survival fees to keep the craft alive? Oh the places it could go. Paths in every which direction twinkling in fairy lights woven delicately around young saplings, deep wise roots and winged emerald branches. Every which way, the stories flow and I have a pen, two ears, and an open heart to bring them through. Connect the dots.

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©2020 by Jessica James.