Back in March, I attended the “Search for Meaning Book Festival” at Seattle University. Dozens and dozens of authors were present and led break-out sessions on a myriad of topics. In the final keynote of the day, an author and podcast personality (whose name escapes me) uttered a phrase that will stick with me for the rest of my life; “Are we not of interest to each other?” After spending the day surrounded by fellow readers and writers (I would never call myself this), I couldn’t think of a better way to summarize why for thousands of years people have written and people have read.
“Are we not of interest to each other?” Of course, I responded. Of course, I now proudly respond. I have written stories, essays, and poetry since I was a little kid. In college, I started blogging. Why? Several reasons, but the most important for me is this need to explore the human condition. I firmly believe there are very few unique human experiences left to be had. The chances of you experiencing something not experienced by anyone else in the world is small. While you may feel alone or as if something is only happening to you or some cosmic power is picking on you, the chances are small the experience is unique. I would even argue how you feel and respond isn’t that different than your fellow human beings. In an inner-connected age, man doesn’t have a lot of pioneers left. Some possessing the hearts of explores may find this to be a bit depressing, I would for one agree with you, but this also means we are never alone. The pain, the joy, the confusion, the raw human emotion has been experienced by someone else. If they chose to write those feelings down or tell their stories through another medium, we possess the ability to gleam from their knowledge. I find this profoundly comforting. At this stage in my life when the dice seems to be consistently cast in the favor of others, I have become highly reliant on this belief. The words of others has provided the strength I need to move forward.
This alludes to my second reason for exploring the human condition; this is my therapy. Those I read, are of interest to me. Those who read what I write, I hope I am of interest. I do so, because if I were left to my own devices to solve major issues in my life… well, I would be terrified of the outcome. By reading, I am able to connect and draw comparisons to my own life. I am able to relate and the weight of loneliness lifts. I can process my own thoughts and feelings, as I do, I often write those thoughts and feelings down. As I grow older, I have become more and more comfortable with sharing those experiences. I do so to be entertaining, but more importantly so people who stumble across my little corner of the internet know they are not alone.
See, I write in the hopes of helping people. If what I write matters to one person, then I am satisfied. It is so very easy to get wrapped up in the endless feedback loop of likes, shares, comments and retweets. It is easy to read what others write and be consumed with the adulation they receive. It is easy to wish I were them. I have to remind myself often that I don’t write to feed my ego. I write for my health and with the hope of being of some use to those who need it most. When I get discouraged, I remind myself of a simple truth; they may like him better, but I will keep writing.
Because, just like you, I have a story to tell. We are all artists in some form or fashion. I write. You may dance, take pictures, sing, act, paint, sculpt or any number of other forms of expression. As you create, you tell your story. You become of interest to others. As you do, I hope those who come across your power draw strength. I hope their creativity is unleashed and the challenges in their own lives is lessened. I hope they appreciate their humanity and feel a little less alone. I hope they discover nothing in this world draws us together like a story.
Thanks for entering my world,