The “Think-Feel” of Writing
Melissa R. Sipin, winner of the 2013 Glimmer Train Fiction Open, offers a craft essay in the Glimmer Train Bulletin #95 entitled “To My Unknown Daughter: On the Inheritance of Writing.” Sipin writes raw what so many writers struggle through in coming to their craft – their work – of writing, “I know, if you are anything like me, you will fight with society like a lover. In your writing, your art, you will need to expose its unwillingness to witness its oppression, its loneliness, its refusal to see truth and its addiction to shadows. And if you are anything like me, the world outside, which is both beautiful and not, both loving and not, both happy and sad, will force you to be sensitive to its pangs and joys, allowing you to think-feel. What is to think-feel?” And then later answers with, “This sensitivity, this ability to think-feel is what makes us writers, the kind of writers with the disposition to know and feel the most extreme states of the human condition (birth, love, and death). And it is because of this that we enter into these liminal spaces alone. We suffer these extreme states to know what loneliness feels like, what sadness, happiness, trauma, and hope are, both in body, mind, and spirit.”
The Glimmer Train Bulletin is a free monthly that features craft essays from writers published in recent issues of Glimmer Train Stories. Also included in #95 are essays by Selena Anderson (“Want”), George Saunders (“On the Preconceptual World”), and Rowena Macdonald (“Writing Dialogue”). Read them all here.