why write?

Sholes_typewriter

Write the play that will change your life.

Write to repair the world.

Write to understand yourself.

Write what you know.

Write from a place of imagination.

That’s a highly incomplete list of advice given by teachers of writing. I generally espouse the first (this is, after all, my opinion-space), but that sentence, that admonition is so elastic – you could change your life by writing a blockbuster, by writing any of the examples beneath it, by writing beneath yourself.

I used to espouse the second, but anymore it’s not enough, whenever I try to repair the world someone pushes back and says that my way isn’t the right way, the perfect way, their way, so it doesn’t deserve to exist; and when I actually repair a little corner of the world, another hole is ripped somewhere else.

I’m having lots of thoughts about duality, these days, and the idea that good/evil is merely an artificial construct to keep us from integrating and evolving. I do have the need to write to change the world, to change the way we think and behave and act. That fabled little Dutch boy who sticks his finger in the dike to keep his land from flooding is the poster-boy for dysfunction, for shoring up the wall between our insularity against the rest of the world. Instead of fighting off the elements, why not live in and on them? Instead of staying – hiding – in one place, why not share places, trade places. Instead of hopping onto the getting-and-spending bandwagon, why not live as simply as possible, with as little impact on Mother Earth and as much impact on other people as one can manage? Inertia is a natural force, why not embrace and utilize it rather than fight it?

Stemming the tide of habit is perhaps a better use for that little Dutch boy’s finger; changing inside ourselves instead of trying to change everything outside. Those who want power over others cannot often be trusted with that power, or only trusted to a certain extent. So of course I’m looking for the power to change the way the humans I know and read about behave in the world. Ergo, DO NOT TRUST ME, particularly if you’re cleaving to a way of life that doesn’t serve you or others.

Why write? Because you must. Why ask others to read or view the product of your writing? Ah. That one’s up to you.

©2013

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