There’s nothing quite so cool for a writer than to hear, “I loved your last book (blog, poem, article, whatever). It made me think (this)…” And “this” is exactly what we wanted them to think.
We exult. “Yes! Somebody heard what I was saying!”
But did they?
There is a little known proverb (14:10) that says “Each heart knows its own bitterness and joy; no one else can really share it.”
So N-O-B-O-D-Y on the planet can know exactly how I’m feeling? Well, that’s depressing.
Actually, it’s quite encouraging. It means you are completely and utterly unique right down to the stray hairs on your chin, that oddly-shaped pinky toe, or that embarrassing birthmark right above your left hip. Sure you share human experiences with others—love, joy, peace, Fourth of July picnics, first kisses, American Idol finales, birth, or the death of a loved one—but yours are just that: All yours.
And because they are exclusively ours, we writers write. We write to bridge the gap, to cross the divide, to span the chasm that separates us from the other seven billion human beings on this speck of dust who themselves are experiencing their one-of-a-kind moments but don’t have the mechanics, the wherewithal, or the inclination to write it down.
We do it for them. But mostly we do it for ourselves.
Some of us do it for temporal reasons—to pay the rent or to eat—and those aren’t necessarily bad reasons. (I’m enjoying pistachios and pomegranate juice as I write this.) But they’re just temporary. They don’t really fill us up. Not in that place that begs for filling such that if we disappeared into the night—this night—we know we’ve left a flag flying on the field, our flag that says, “I got this far. Push on! Push on!”
So if you’re a writer, go for it. Do your best. Use that thesaurus. Edit, edit, and edit some more. Reach out with your pen, laptop, IPad, or smartphone. Just keep in mind that the only one who can understand exactly what you are thinking and feeling is…well, you. And that’s okay.
They rest of us with bellybuttons will get it.
What human experiences do you feel compelled to share with others?