(As posted by Julie Hedlund at the end of the 2022 12 Days of Christmas for Writers)
Writing is bizarre. Being a writer even more so. Today I took a printed copy of a manuscript on my walk, found a spot by the creek, and wrote and revised right on the paper.
If this manuscript becomes a book, it might change someone’s life. But if it doesn’t become a book, then what? What happens to the words then? What is the POINT of having written the words if nobody but me will see them?
Because the words have changed ME, and I am a person in this world hoping to make a difference for everyone I encounter. Writing forces me to think deeply about what is in my heart and soul, what I see in the world, and to put down on paper what otherwise might be left unobserved or unacknowledged. By challenging myself, I grow, and that growth enables greater contribution to the world.
Writing is magic. You take a thought or a feeling in the abstract and put it into form. The words are seldom (never?) perfect, but the attempt to make meaning out of the ephemeral is a step toward finding new and better words that get you closer to what you really want to say. Eventually, those words may touch on something universal that exposes a piece of our global soul. Words create connective tissue between human hearts. Even if they never appear in a book. Even if nobody else ever sees them.
So for all my writer friends who feel like they aren’t writing enough, or writing well, or writing anything that will make a difference, know this: You are. You absolutely are. You are a magician.