How many times have you heard, What are you writing? … Working on? … Have in the pipeline?
How many times are you asked, “Why?” As in, Why are you a writer? Why do you write? Why do you invest so much time, energy and passion into word-smithing and story-spinning?
“Why?” isn’t a trivial question. In fact, Why? may be a lot more important than what, where, how, or even who.
Possible response to “Why?” that I’ve heard:
- To make money
- I want to get my message out
- To become famous
- Because I have a story to tell
Notice a common thread? These are all “me-isms.” In other words, it’s all about me.
Part of what makes great writing great is that it moves us beyond ourselves. Expands our horizons. Draws new paradigms. Explores an old topic from a new angle. Moves us to tears. Sends us into gales of laughter. Breaks the mold. Challenges, educates, dares, inspires. You know you’ve come across truly great writing when you happily skip a luscious plate of tiramisu to finish the next chapter.
Yes, I know we all find ourselves fascinating. But if our writing consists solely and wholly of me-isms without connecting to something bigger – family, faith, nature, tiramisu – then we’re just cranking out a commercial.
We can do better. Dig digger. Fly higher. Stretch. Explore. Grow. The tiramisu will wait.
Which of your favorite authors writes “bigger than yourself”?