Alisha wrote her favourite sentences from notes sent to her by writers on sticky notes, and pasted them onto her desk.
She treasures her job. Living in the heart of New York city, being a fiction editor felt like discovering intricately beautiful sea shells from an infinite heap of sand. It reminded her, inevitably, of her childhood.
Today, like everyday, she picks up a note that stands distinct from all other letters of appreciation on her desk. This note, in particular, has unfailingly troubled her, each day of her life. It has often been the sole cause of her distress, a peculiar distraction – she looks up from her current manuscript and sits pondering.
She reads what one writer had once written to her, in response to a message she sent, hastily typed, asking the writer, she remembers clearly, to “talk about love”.
“Some sentences are still too difficult to type. Not because the words don’t flow, match or sound good, but because to give them this space would also require me to accept their weight, their truth, and my absolute inability to change them, and for that reason, I choose not to ‘talk about love’ , as you put it. One day I will have to.
Because I know, that to stir the reader, I must pour out my heart in writing, even if that means that I must break like crystal first.”
The day Alisha received that note, something very significant about her changed.
She was beginning to understand the emotion and power with which each unedited manuscript sits at her desk. And how in that raw way, each of those works, are perfect. They cannot be mingled with, because they are more than stories, they are more than just the truth.
Something about it made her realise, that her job is not to sift for shells – she is sitting at the shore of a tempestuous sea, and she must save each wrecked ship that makes it to the harbour.