I am going through my Elizabeth Gilbert phase at the moment, devouring her books and stories with great pleasure. For the past two months I revisited every possible Isabel Allende book (in Spanish) that I could get my hands on, in whatever medium. Then I switched over to Elizabeth Gilbert, whose personal style of writing in the first person is so appealing that you can’t help but be hooked on her books.
City of Girls is a wonderfully woven tale as narrated by Vivian Morris in retrospective. There are so many interesting lines to pick up on, such as
“Never has it felt more important for me to tell stories of joy and abandon, passion and recklessness. Life is short and difficult, people. We must take our pleasures where we can find them. Let us not become so cautious that we forget to live.”
“we may fall victim to the misconception that time will heal all wounds and that eventually everything will shake itself out. But as we get older, we learn this sad truth: some things can never be fixed. Some mistakes can never be put right—not by the passage of time, and not by our most fervent wishes, either.”
But the greatest take-away for me was the passage in which the characters Edna Parker Watson admonishes the young Vivian Morris for not being an interesting person.
“You will never be an interesting person. I’m telling you this … because I believe you’ve been laboring under the misconception that you are interesting or that your life has significance. But you are not and it doesn’t.”
It would be the ultimate nightmare for me to become an uninteresting person, considering everything that I have lived through, learned, and experienced. To be considered dull, boring, and uninteresting is the supreme insult, in my mind, for anyone who has put in some amount of effort into living!
Perhaps youth and laziness has prevented some people from getting off the internet and detaching themselves from their fake virtual lives, but it is never too late to turn the tables around. Ditch the phones, ignore the ridiculous concept of Instagram Influences (oh how I hate that term) and live life as if there is no tomorrow. Savour the food, make the mistakes, and love to satisfy your soul.
I was recently asked how much of my life is integrated in my writing. My answer: everything. Good books come from writers who are interesting persons and have lived though challenging moments, depending on how the emotions are portrayed and experienced by the characters. You can tell this within the first three pages.
Life provides the depth of the pages.