Quote of the Week: “We all reach a point in our lives when we realize that we know better than anyone else just what we need and want. It’s a fine place to be.” Gwen Diehn
Writing Exercise of the Week: Write about the journey of a letter from the moment you mail it. Where does it go, who touches it, and what happens until it reaches its destination?
There are some things you just know.
You may waffle on what to wear to work or what to eat for breakfast, whether public school or private school (or home-school) is the best choice for your child, if you should rent or if you should buy. You may make a decision and then regret it a moment later. You may find yourself staring at a new car, a new dress, a cupcake, a flatscreen TV. You’re unable to commit yet unable to turn away.
Other things don’t require a second thought. You make a decision without much fanfare or drama, you sign on the dotted line, you pluck an item off the shelf and drop it in your cart and move on down the aisle. You say yes. You say no. You add a pinch of salt, a dab of butter, just enough red wine to the sauce. These things you just know.
And then there’s fierce knowing.
Fierce knowing abides with beliefs and feelings that run deep. They’re visceral in nature, determined by circumstance or experience. You can physically feel the rightness or wrongness of a moment or decision in your body. You can’t articulate why you feel this way or how you know what you know—you just do. There’s no waffling, no indifference. It’s non-negotiable, not up for discussion.
The writer’s path is often littered with emotional debris—doubt, uncertainty, second guessing, lack of confidence. Can I write this? Should I write this? This isn’t very good. I should give up. This is terrible. This is hard. This doesn’t make any sense. And so on.
But then you write a sentence, a scene, a beginning, an ending. You feel it click into place. Wow, that was good. Perhaps you’re crafting a difficult letter after a long estrangement or misunderstanding. That’s what I wanted to say. That feels right. Maybe you’re doing research and coming up empty when you meet someone who says exactly what you need to hear. That couldn’t have been more perfect, thank you.
Fierce knowing is powerful. It lets you stand wherever you are and say, “This is what I know, this is what I believe.” You are so solid in this knowing that you don’t even try to convince other people—you don’t have to. Fierce knowing has no agenda. It doesn’t have to be grand or complicated. It doesn’t have to make sense. But you know you can trust it, even if no one else does.
Within that fierce knowing is a quiet truth that speaks to you. It affirms your own wisdom to make the right call or go down the road less traveled. It offers kindness when you’re uncertain. Don’t worry, it’ll be clear when it’s meant to be clear. You know that feeling. Cultivate it. Remember it. It’ll keep you anchored and grounded, reminding you that you’ve felt it before and can feel it again.
Darien Gee is the bestselling author of six books, including three written as Mia King. Her books have been translated into 14 languages and are selections of the Doubleday, Literary Guild and Book of the Month Club book clubs. Visit Waimea Community Education at waimeaeducation.com to register for Darien’s upcoming writing and publication workshops, or to schedule a one-on-one session. For more information, visit dariengee.com.