It’s easy to forget the truest thing about writing.
That amidst all the projects and works-in-progress. Amidst all those daily human dramas that inspire the “shit happens” and the “oh my God.”
Writing is yours like nothing else is.
I’m still putting it all back together after the apartment flood last month. At first it was just a thing that happened. But when I wrote about it for the blog, it became something else. A glittering story. A moment in time captured in glass.
I learned about myself. About why I smiled when I pictured that water rush through the three-foot slit. And why it felt like the freedom and bliss of riding over the dunes without a helmet as I triaged my possessions into our two cars.
Because I wrote about it, it became art.
I wasn’t just a random human anymore, experiencing random events. I was Human. And this was Experience.
In the act of writing it down, the tiny nameless drama of one person among billions became elevated.
Do you think of that before you write? When you stare at the screen under your thousand-word quota? That as hard as writing is, no one can take it away from you.
It doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you swim in easy, empty money and spit out coins like Scrooge McDuck. Or if you sweat for it at Micky Ds. Writing doesn’t judge you.
It doesn’t matter if you love someone you shouldn’t or loved the same person for fifty years. Who you are. How you loved. It’s just something else write about.
It’s up to the the rest of the world to figure out why the words matter. Your job is to leave it behind. Because, if you write it down, someday someone may finally understand.
When you write, you can be anyone. Say anything. Act out the craziest fantasies. Get everything you ever wanted.
You can change people’s minds.
You can tell what really happened.
You can take over the world. Or build a summer house under a warm tropical breeze. It doesn’t matter.
Because writing is yours and yours alone.
Your passion. Your pride. Your secret resentments. The worlds and people and universes you create when no one is looking.
Write for anger. Write for lust. Write to be free or to find out what might have been.
No one can ever take writing away from you. No matter how old you get or how many people you lose. Even if that thing turns out to be true. Or something eats away who you are. You live. The people you knew will live. If you write something down to remember.
So take advantage of your power. Revel in your gift. Even if the words aren’t perfect.