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On Writing

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Walking with Eyes Wide Open

“The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.”
— Zadie Smith

 

Writing is a way of examining what’s going on inside. It’s a way of testing our thoughts and ideas. Writing is how we stay awake throughout life.

Writing isn’t just for experts and novelists. Writing is for everyone. It’s for the entrepreneur. It’s for the auto mechanic. It’s for the bookkeeper, and biology major. 

It’s for anyone who wishes to walk with eyes wide open.

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Writing isn't Just for Writers

Writing is like breathing, it’s possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.
— Julia Cameron

When you read, you get the benefit of plumbing the depths of another’s mind. When you write, you get the benefit of plumbing your own. Therein lies the great benefit to writing. The task is an exercise in self-discovery. It's an exploration into who you are, and what you believe.

We all know reading should be a lifelong pursuit. In the same way, writing, too, should be a lifelong endeavor. They are both strategies for growth. You need both in your life.

Start journaling. Start blogging. Start writing a short story. Start writing poetry. Begin writing now. Start and never look back.

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Feed Your Soul

Your body will only last about a week without food & water. After 7 days (give or take) you die. How about your soul? How long can it last before it dies? 

I believe a soul never dies. The soul continues on long after the body gives out because the soul is that eternal part of who we are. But just because the soul cannot die, doesn’t mean it cannot be starved.

Just as you need three square meals a day, so also you need to cultivate soul-nourishing moments daily. You feed your soul when you:

  • Love another & allow yourself to be loved
  • Sacrifice for someone else
  • Read books that expand your mind
  • Reflect on your thoughts, words, and deeds
  • Stretch yourself in ways that make you uncomfortable
  • Lead a disciplined life
  • Open yourself up to a Higher Power

 

This kind of nourishment doesn't just keep you alive, it's what causes you to thrive. If you have a choice between skipping a meal or a moment to nourish your soul, do your eternal self a favor, skip the former.

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A Powerful Search Mechanism

“Writing is a powerful search mechanism, and one of its satisfactions is to come to terms with your life narrative.”
— William Zinsser

It took me way too long to start writing consistently. The reason is simple: I thought I had to have the answer before I began filling the page. I know better now. I come to the page to find out what I have to say.

Writing is where I go to search. It’s where I go to learn more about myself. 

If you haven’t established a writing habit, get started. Fear not! You can do it. Just follow this pattern: Think. Write. Rethink. Rewrite. Repeat.

 

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Dear Author, Thank You

There should be a national holiday for authors. One day a year we should celebrate these brave men and women who take up their pen and write out their thoughts, observations, and ideas.

To each and every author: thank you. Thank you for taking a risk and making the investment of time. Thank you for persevering even when the words weren’t coming together. Thank you for doing the hard work of mining for insights, for helping us discover what we may not have been able to unearth on our own. And, of course, thank you for passing all of it on for pennies.

Your work is important. We need you. Keep it up.

What about you? What do you need to write? What story do you need to tell? Don’t think for a minute that you have nothing to say. The words are in there. You just have to go digging for them.  We need you too.

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