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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