Writing and Maturity

Writing is an act of maturity. Regardless of their age, only mature people can write and express themselves coherently in written words. Those who are less-mature can, of course, still write. But you’ll always see traces of their immaturity scattered all over the places in their composition. There are shagginess — coarseness, if you will — in their words, in the organization of their thoughts, in the way they are trying to get a foothold on the page. It’s as if they’re still learning to walk, uncertain and giddy, you can almost see the trials they are making. Their writings are an uncertain exploration of their worlds, their experiences, and their place in them.

Mature people’s writings are unlike theirs. (I am not saying that mature people’s writings are perfect for — I believe — maturity is a matter of degree that continually evolves through time, efforts, and experiences. So theirs — mature people’s — are, by degrees, tighter, more reflective of their more developed minds and experiences of life and the world(s) in which they live. There is a certainty (certitude?) in they way they manage their words, their sentences, and the way they interweave their ideas in them.)

Maturity is not about numbers, about linear or biological age. I think you all know that for a fact. It’s about intensity, about how engaged you are with yourself and with life. It’s what you do with those numbers. If you have been lazy and inactive and chosen to be on the receiving ends of motions and actions that are taking place in this busy and dynamic world without actively taking part in them or approaching them; if you’re just waiting for the fruits to fall from the sky and into your mouth; if you let yourself be an object instead of a subject seeking what should rightfully be yours, then maturity will take long years to arrive — or it will never come your way at all. You will never be developed enough to have a whole sense of who you are, what you are, and what your place is in this speeding world. You’ll be left behind, trailing in the tails of others never really seeing and experiencing the ongoing motions and actions.

On the flip side:

Just as writing is an act of maturity, it is also an act through which maturity is attained. Writing is reflexive. It is a way of engaging yourself — talking to yourself, reaching deep into your unexplored treasures, traveling between what you know, what you experience and the sounding board within. In short, it is a way of spinning your wheel in the direction of self-knowing, and thus maturity. Only persons who know who they are know where their place is in the world and can appropriately play their roles in the complex discourses called life. And it is these individuals that we can duly call mature personae.


Eki Akhwan, 24 March 2012


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