Tues Tip: Inspiration & Perspiration “We write to taste life twice” Anais Nin

1 Jun

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” Anais Nin

Pictured is the famous French diarist and erotic author Anais Nin in a bank vault with her many journals. These were subsequently published as a series of diaries and which she mined for a number of books.

Starting today June 1, we intend to post on this site every day, Monday through Friday. We want to offer an eclectic mix of  ideas, tips, links, and writing prompts which will help you as a writer, as a small business owner, or as an individual seeking to connect with his or her creativity–words that inspire you to put in the perspiration it might take to taste life twice. That’s why today’s post is the first in a series of quotes under the title “Inspiration & Perspiration.”

While I love the insights of this quote by Anais Nin, I have to admit I disagree: when we write, we do taste life twice–once in the moment, and again in the restrospection required by the writing. But each time we read those words, we get to taste and savor life again and again. And we get to share the flavors of life with others using our words. Others disagree but for another reason: that the process of writing involves so much rewriting that it leads to indigestion!

Now that we’re back home from our recent camping trip to the southwestern states of Utah, Arizona, and Colorado, I am looking forward to tasting life twice–once as we traveled and again as I blog about our trip over at Art Predator.

Here’s the full quote from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5:

The artist is the only one who knows that the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements. It is a materialization, an incarnation of his inner world. Then he hopes to attract others into it. He hopes to impose his particular vision and share it with others. And when the second stage is not reached, the brave artist continues nevertheless. The few moments of communion with the world are worth the pain, for it is a world for others, an inheritance for others, a gift to others, in the end. When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.

We also write to heighten our own awareness of life. We write to lure and enchant and console others. We write to serenade our lovers. We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it. We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth. We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonely. We write as the birds sing, as the primitives dance their rituals. If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. When I don’t write, I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in a prison. I feel I lose my fire and my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing.

February 1954 The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5 as quoted in Woman as Writer (1978) by Jeannette L. Webber and Joan Grumman, p. 38

What do you think of this quote by Anais Nin? I encourage you to take five minutes out of your busy life to respond to and reflect on what it means to you to write. Or relate this quote to your business.

You’re welcome to leave your comments below, or if you choose to write about this topic and publish it online, please leave a link below so we can go read what you have to say.


One Response to “Tues Tip: Inspiration & Perspiration “We write to taste life twice” Anais Nin”

  1. sarahneanbruce June 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    We write to taste life twice, in the moment, & in retrospection.~Anaïs Nin
    {my writing, & my many retrospections, lead to introspection~snb}

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

Please log in to WordPress.com to post a comment to your blog.

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 33 other followers