Writing is Risky Business (Spring 2011)
Writers are vulnerable. We open the curtains and offer the world an intimate view. And if we get the lighting just right, anyone peering in will also see themselves in the reflection.
Writers aren’t content with simply observing or even living life. We have to dig deeper, figure out why, get to the details then bring it all up a thousand notches to apply across humanity. We catalog the course of events, savor a good line of dialog, squirrel away nuggets of truth, and grow with our characters. It’s painful. Hard work. And necessary.
Writers have to write. It’s something deep inside us that pushes and pushes until we let it out. It’s part of the air we breathe, this need to make sense of the world around us and to somehow find the right words to express and influence the way we each feel and interact and love and live.
Writing is a connection. An exposure. Whether fiction or real life, the words we choose to put together become part of who we are and what’s important at that very moment, a glimpse of where we’ve been and who we’ll be, what we stand for and where we draw the line. The words we choose ripple through the universe seasoning and mending and crashing on the shores of other souls willing to read them.
Writers rely on the faith that because our muse comes from a higher power and because we’ve labored to translate and even transform some small element of human nature, what we write will be of interest to someone else. We hope the words we choose, when we let them go, will resonate with at least one other heart searching for just that message or inspiration.
There will be people who don’t like what we write.
Some days we won’t find words.
And yet here we are.
Here I am. Writing. And here you are. Reading it. Welcome to the journey. It’s worth the risk.
* * *