The concept of writing seems so easy, but anybody who has ever had to write an essay, short story, or even a few thoughtful words for a speech, knows how difficult it can be to form a cohesive and engaging thought. So why do it?
I ask myself this question far too often and just as writing is a complicated venture, so is the answer. The easiest answer to give is: I LOVE to write.
As far back as I can recall I wrote. I still have notebooks in my attic that are filled with mock magazine layouts for Bop and Teen Magazine (the big hitters back in the late 80’s). Each page was a careful dialog of useful information about whatever celebrity I was “interviewing” at the time (usually Sean Astin. I was a big Goonies fan). Later, I would take to writing short stories and prose, dreaming of a day that I could be published or finally get that coveted job at a magazine. But life is ever changing: these dreams soon were replaced by new ones, and eventually forgotten altogether….or at least for a long time.
As I prepare to have my third book published however, I find myself asking once again: why do I write? Why do I want to publish a book, or even post this blog for that matter? I know I’m not the best writer out there. I know I will never make a living at writing. I’m not even sure if anyone even reads what I write! So why do it? Why write? Why? Because I can. Because I have defined and understand what inspires me to write.
When I look out in the world I choose to see the good in it. Some call me naively optimistic; I say I just decide where to direct my eyes. If you look at any news channel or even social media, it is filled with negativity, the horrors of mankind , and more drama then any soap opera ever contained. What you don’t see is the good stuff. The man who ran to the scene to help, the countless good parents in the world, and all the young people who are working hard and being respectful. Why doesn’t the news outlets talk about these things? Because happy stories only make money for Rom-coms.
But what if the world heard more good stuff, more positivity? What if we focused on the good out there instead of all the bad? That is what motivates me to write. I want to counteract all of that negative noise. I want to be like a lighthouse, a beacon of hope in the roaring storm.
I share my stories and experiences in the hope of inspiring people to think differently, to act with compassion, and view the world with open-mindedness. I want to inspire a thirst for life which can be found in your own back yard, on a spontaneous road trip, or within your imagination. I write with the intention of putting my voice out there into the universe in order to make somebody feel just a little bit better and not so alone, and maybe by doing so, a seed of inspiration is planted. Even in writing fiction my goal is to free one of whatever struggles they may be encountering by allowing them to travel to some other place and escape reality for a bit.
Whatever motivates you, define it. Then, write it down so you can look at it when you feel a bit lost. This is your guiding light, the north on your compass. There are no wrong answers. If you write to be rich and famous, then know your audience and what sells. If it is to be a great journalist, be prepared to ask the hard hitting questions and know your angle. Whatever it is, don’t shy away from it. Don’t let doubt cloud your way. It may not be an easy journey, but if you don’t set sail, you will surely never reach your destination.
I speak of writing here but in truth this is applicable in every aspect of life.
Know the why for the path you walk.
During this time of self-distancing you are provided a perfect opportunity for reflection on such matters. Look at your job, hobbies, and goals. Why do you do them? Why are they important? What do you hope to achieve? Is it security, peace of mind, greatness? See what you come up with. If you feel so inclined, share your discoveries here so that others might be inspired by your experience and thoughts.