What remains of your past if you didn't allow yourself to feel it when it happened? If you don't have your experiences in the moment, if you gloss them over with jokes or zoom past them, you end up with curiously dispassionate memories, procedural and depopulated. It's as if a neutron bomb went off, and all you're left with are hospital corridors.
The only equality that is important, or indeed conceivable, is equality of being. Inequality in the various aspects of man is inevitable and even welcome; is it the basis of any rich and complex life. The inequality that is evil is inequality which denies the essential equality of being.
Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780-1950, p. 317
Most of us enter the scholarly world because we think we can do something important in the world. We are motivated to want to change things for the better. We want to be inspiring teachers and writers. And we want our work to have impact beyond the academy among persons who may find in what we have to say the same life-changing moment that we had reading that story so many years ago. Unfortunately, most forms of academic writing fail to accomplish those goals. Think about it. When was the last time you read a study that truly moved you? This is not to say that traditional academic studies are worthless; it is to say that they seldom satisfy our needs as readers beyond providing useful information that we can draw on for our own work. That is no small thing, but neither should it become the only thing valued about academic prose. We can choose to live larger than that. We can find new ways to use our research to reach a wider public audience and to have real impact in the world. And that choice has everything to do with the way we choose to write.
H.L. Goodall, Qualitative Writing Inquiry
The neighbor said, “But seriously, who is it you’re writing these for? Surely you have an audience in mind.” I thought about it carefully, I did, but ended up repeating almost word for word what I had already said, which was that the poems were written for me, or for readers who were exactly the same person as I was. I said I couldn’t imagine any other person. I said I could see how that probably sounded disingenuous, or solipsistic, or both. And just then a small dinner roll fell from the table, rolled across the living room steadily, not slowing at all, or wobbling. It rolled across the room and passed through the doorway into the bedroom and the door slammed shut behind it.
Michael Earl Craig, Thin Kimono