Even if I didn’t write, I’d still be me. Just a whole lot less me than I am.
We could all say that to some extent about our interests and hobbies, couldn’t we? They are, of course, part of what makes us us. But what about our passions? They might not be required for living, but in my opinion, they’re pretty darn close.
Image via Unsplash/Mikhail Pavstyuk
For me, like so many others, the written word has always held some magic. As a child, the stories I read became part of me: I thought about them as I went through my day and I admired the strength and individuality of my favorite characters. They truly helped shape the person I was becoming. As an adult, the books and poems I read continue to shape me. The same can be said of my own writing.
As I flesh out a story, I learn about my characters and they, in turn, teach me about my own view of the world. Though what I write is fiction, there are always universal truths that find their way into my words. Some seem entirely new to me. I’m surprised to discover them when they show up in a character’s speech or actions. Others are thoughts which have passed through my mind once or often and demand not to be lost.
Image via Unsplash/Aaron Burden
All in all, writing and reading each help me connect with the world and with the other, unique individuals who share it. They help me take meaning from the world and then turn around and help me bring my own meaning back to it.
So, no. I don’t write to exist, but I do write to enrich my existence. For that, I am grateful.
What enriches your existence? What are your passions or your interests and hobbies? Are they yearning to grow into something more? Whatever these beautifully interesting things are, hold them close and be glad for them: without them you’d be much less you.