I am reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. I love her voice. One of the traits of writing that I (attempt to) teach in my classroom is voice, and I’m not sure I fully understand what voice is. But since I love Ms. Gilbert’s voice so much, I will think about this more as I read.
Because I love her voice so much, I thought I would give you a sneak preview even though I’m barely started. I read this sentence describing the happy experience of cohabiting with her boyfriend:
“He cooked; I took care of the lawn; every once in awhile one of us would fire up the vacuum cleaner.” (p.8)
I sat and thought, THIS is why I love Elizabeth Gilbert! And then, but why do I love this sentence so much? What is it about this one sentence out of thousands; 21 words out of nearly 300 pages? And then I thought about reading Eat, Pray, Love and I remembered how often I would think, what a great sentence. I need to write this down. I need to share this with people. What is this illusive quality that is so appealing to me? It’s not exactly humorous (though there are other parts of her writing that are hilarious), but I am entertained. And I can feel what she means; she gives me a taste of the pleasantness of that period of time through this sentence. I think that’s voice.
I also want to share this tidbit, because it spoke to me about surrendering to the higher power of God’s will, or destiny, or however you see it. I love the phrase “none of my business” in this subject:
“If I knew how to write beloved best sellers on demand, I can assure you that I would have been writing them all along, because it would have made my life a lot easier annd more comfortable ages ago. But it doesn’t work that way–or at least no for writers like me. We write only the books that we need to write, or are able to write, and then we must release them, recognizing that whatever happens to them next is somehow none of our business.” (p. xiv-xv)
Aren’t you just on the edge of your seat to read my book report? (I’m certain your world revolves around me and my blog.)