It’s easy to go on an endless chase for likes and popularity, but more and more I keep returning to a fundamental question.
Who am I as a writer?
What do I want to say to the world?
So I offer this mostly to myself and maybe for you to consider as well.
How will it change people?
I want to change people –
Seth Godin says all marketing is about bending culture and I guess some part of me wants to change people, to change the way they think about life, about themselves.
My life’s purpose is to serve those walking the path of awakening. I want to wake people up, to life and to what’s possible. So this is what I want from my writing.
Does it change people? Does it wake them up? Or is it simply a distraction?
How will it change you?
I want it to change me –
When I write about my life I truly begin to understand it, it’s probably why my writing often feels like a stream of consciousness. I process as I write.
I want my writing to change me, the way I think, the way I view the world. If I challenge myself as a writer I will also challenge my way of thinking. I’ll become better. I’ll be more kind, more loving, more open, and more wise.
Is this writing making me better? Is it pushing me? Is it challenging the way I think?
Will you make art?
I want to make art –
I’ve wanted to be an artist my whole life.But I can’t paint, I can’t draw, I can’t code. It took me a long time to see words are my code and the reader’s mind is my canvas.
I don’t just want to write to inform or compell, I want to write to make art. I love reading other people’s writing because I can see the art of it. I want to do that, I want to keep making art, to write in a way that get something done with brilliance
Is this art? Is it creative? Can I say it with fewer words? Can I articulate it more clearly?
What will you leave?
I want to leave something –
I’m going to die. We all are. My writing too will also die. Few books and writers live on. But I still want to leave something.
I have an image in my mind of my grandchildren holding a book I wrote. Maybe it’s a book of poems, but I’m not sure yet.
I’ve read writing by both my grandfathers. It’s just these little snippets, but they are so lovely. It’s like they’re reaching across time.
It would be cool if my books lasted generations, but really I’d be fine if it just survived in my family. A small thing to leave, even though nothing really lasts.
Is this what I want to leave? What would I want to write that would matter 100 years from today? What about me is important to know? What have I learned I want to pass on? How might it help?
Can you love it?
I want to love it –
I don’t need to always love the process of writing. Sometimes it’s work. But mostly I want to love it. I want to feel the words flow out of me onto the page, even if the page is just 1’s and 0’s. Even if the writing is terrible.
Are you enjoying this? Are you inspired? Are you creating beauty? Are you seeing the beauty you’re creating?
Who will read it?
I want you to read it –
This can’t just be about me, it has to be about you too. I care about what you want, what you want to change, and what you want to be different about your life.
At the intersection of your concerns and my insight is where a conversation can happen. Even if my half is on the page and your half is in your mind;I want us to talk. And that means making a guess at where you are and doing my best to meet you there.
If I do this well we can meet each other even if we never meet.
What do you care about? Why should you read this? What might make you turn away? What can I say that would help you?
Will you write?
I want to write it –
At the end of the day, there is simply a commitment: to writing, creating, and spending the time crafting words. I am a writer. I almost don’t need anything other than that.
Writing can be its own justification. Like the best kind of love. You don’t love to get something or to give something. You love to love. You live to live.
As circular as it is, there’s a truth to it I can’t explain. Maybe that’s why I’m a writer.
Are you writing? Why not? What if you started? What if it being bad was ok? What if just writing was enough?
To be a writer.
It sounds so significant and grand, but it’s also humbling. I get to join this conversation. I likely won’t be the loudest voice, or the most poetic, or the most successful, but I can still add my part, my words, my love, my commitment to the mix.
This is who I am as a writer.
Who are you?