This week I’ve been preparing to lead a retreat on joy and read Annie Dillard’s A Writing Life for the first time. These two quotes from the book have stayed with me as I’ve considered joy and vocation.
“A writer looking for subjects inquires not after what he loves best, but after what he alone loves at all…You were made and set here to give voice to this: your own astonishment.” (Annie Dillard)
“The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one’s own most intimate sensitivity.” (Anne Truitt)
While these quotes use the terms writer and artist, I believe we all write and create in our daily lives, in different ways. The key is finding, embracing, and sharing the astonishment you alone feel and that which inspires the intimate sensitivity you alone experience.