This is my first time here on Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you don't know what Insecure Writer's Support Group is it is a monthly blog hop in which writer's post about their writing lives and encourage each other and learn from each other. It's a great idea and I am so glad I get to be a part of it.
I had a revelation earlier this week about my writing life.
I was talking to a coworker at the deli I work at about my writing and he said something that perplexed me.
He said "Who knows? Maybe I'm talking to a star."
He meant it as encouragement of course but it got me thinking.
Am I trying to be a star?
Everyone has a right to shine. The question isn't so much a matter of humility as objective. I read somewhere once that you can make a fortune from writing but not a living (possibly that is a Ray Bradbury quote but also possibly it isn't) so in order to make a living with my writing I may need to acquire a certain amount of fame. I'm ok with that if it means I can continue to write and not have to work double and triple shifts at minimum wage retail jobs anymore but it is far from the reason why I write.
I write because it is my calling.
I write because I can't imagine dedicating my life to anything else.
I write because I am bigger on the inside and the light that lives within has been screaming to get out since the day I was born.
I write because I dream things everyone else is afraid to believe in.
But I have come to realize that my writing doesn't really have anything to do with me at all.
Another writing quote that I read so long ago that I have no idea who said it is that we write to be like those who gave us the most joy.
All writers began as readers who fell so in love with books that we began pouring them out of our hearts in thick gushes of ink. Because at some point in our lives books saved our lives. They taught us. They inspired us. They kept us company when no one else could. They understood us.
They fed our souls and kept us from dying from the inside out.
As C.S. Lewis would say "we read (them) to know we (were) not alone" (Yay! I actually remember who said that one).
That is the real reason I write. To tell others that they are not alone. To teach them. To inspire them. To understand them.
To feed their souls and keep them from dying from the inside out.
Because every time we talk to another human soul we are talking to a star.
Writing is never about the writer. It's about the reader. Our job is not to make them look at us. It is to help them look at themselves.
They are the true stars of every book and it is our honor to keep them company and --if we are any good at what we do --offer them a twinkling of hope so that they can grow brighter still.
Because we are all so much bigger on the inside.