Why You Finishing Your Novel Is Exactly What the World Needs

Our competitive culture encourages the idea that we are all separate. That in order to achieve and succeed we must top everyone else with an idea that no one has ever thought of before. And as a result, we tend to feel defeated or insecure by the success of others. This energy of fear pushes us into a critical, skeptical perspective toward our writing. We end up focusing our efforts on trying to impress rather than trying to share.

But our world is not made up of a random assortment of separate objects that have nothing to do with each other. Everything around us is alive and interacting on a constant basis.

The world is listening to every one of us, whether we realize it or not.

Just as your life has been shaped by accidentally stumbling on a story that moves you, your ideas have the same incredible power to plant themselves as fertile seeds into someone else’s consciousness. Every story that is written down and shared with others is a gift.

The universe is a participatory process. It is not a constant parade of things happening to you. It is you being in a state of happening with everything else. Your participation is essential, and you participate by creating. For writers, that means writing. Writing your book, writing your story, writing your poems.

Being a writer means writing down the things that are beating in your heart, at this moment, and sharing it with other people.

It is time to move outside of our culture’s belief in separateness. We have got to think bigger than that. We have got to think beyond that. As the creative beings of our society we are responsible for modeling new and innovative ways of living to the rest of the population. And we specialize in thinking beyond.

Words are among the most powerful tools on planet earth. And writers are people who are born to use their hands and minds to work with words. We actually have the ability to create alternate realities that other people can walk into and where they can experience life through another’s eyes. We can build worlds in which readers experience the emotions, thoughts, and skin of a “separate” being. And whatever they learn in that world, in that different skin, they carry back into this one. They share it with others, even if only in their smallest acts.

It is about so much more than winning a competition.

It is astronomically more powerful than being impressive.

So if you have a story that you’re waiting to begin, or something half-finished in a drawer somewhere, it’s time to bring it out into the light. It’s time for you to participate.

You were born with the gifts and the duty of a writer. The rest of the people on this planet need you to start taking them, and yourself, seriously.

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16 Comments

  • Reply Elizabeth Howard 8 January, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Oh my God, Lauren! I love you! This was exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it!

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 8 January, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Oh that makes me so happy! I love you too 🙂

  • Reply Setsu 8 January, 2014 at 11:18 am

    “We end up trying to impress rather than trying to share.”

    Yes. Yes indeed. I’m re-reading this one throughout the day.

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 8 January, 2014 at 11:39 am

      I fall prey to it all the time. It’s hard.

  • Reply Catherine North 8 January, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    “It is time to move outside of our culture’s belief in separateness. We have got to think bigger than that. We have got to think beyond that.”

    Yes! Exactly. Thank you for such an inspiring post.

  • Reply Christy Esmahan 8 January, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Lauren, you are absolutely brilliant and I cannot tell you how much your posts inspire me. I’m going to include you in my acknowledgements of my (first) novel, which I hope to finish in the next month or so. Thank you so much for your wonderful words!

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 9 January, 2014 at 9:06 am

      Holy cow Christy, I am completely honored. Thank you so much for continuing to read my words, and I wish you so much luck in finishing your novel. Hurrah!

  • Reply Bronwyn Joy 8 January, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    This is a lovely way of looking at things!

  • Reply Phillip McCollum 8 January, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Well said Lauren. Words of encouragement like this are the perfect way to start off the New Year!

  • Reply Smitha 8 January, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Wow! This is a very inspiring post. I never thought of writing as a way to have an impact on someone through words, and you are absolutely right. So glad I found your blog. Thank you 🙂

  • Reply David Ferland 9 January, 2014 at 3:08 am

    Beautiful encouragement. It’s been hard to get going after the holiday malaise. Thank you!

  • Reply Jon 9 January, 2014 at 3:18 am

    I’ve been deliberating whether to get back to the final edit of the novel I’ve been wittering on about for a couple of years or whether to chuck it in the back of a cupboard and start on something new.

    You’ve just made my mind up 😀

    It’s not perfect, it never will be perfect, I doubt I’ll ever find it more than adequate, but I’ve come so far with it that it’s time to crack on, get it finished, publish it and THEN move on, with the backdrop of everything I’ve learned to make the second book better from the outset.

    You are a genius, an inspiration and, quite possibly, one of the greatest people in the known universe 😉

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 9 January, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Thank you so much for this, although it is a lot to live up to 😉

      And I am so excited that you’ve decided to get back to that novel. If it’s shown up in your thoughts for a couple of years, it’s worth pursuing.

  • Reply Chris Creed 10 January, 2014 at 7:41 am

    “The universe is a participatory process.”

    Such a great post.

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