“The purpose of life is to find our gift. The meaning is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso
A smart, interesting entrepreneur who wanted to write a book told me she was reluctant to write because she wondered if it was somehow arrogrant, maybe even narcissistic.
I smiled and told her, “It’s arrogant if you’re saying, ‘I’m perfect. I’ve figured everything out and I’m going to tell you how to live your life.’
But that’s not what you’re doing.
You’re saying, ‘Here are some things I’ve been thinking, feeling, observing or experiencing. I’m going to share them with you in the hopes you might find them interesting, inspiring or useful.’
When you’re coming from that place, writing isn’t arrogant, it’s an offering.”
How about you?
Have you thought about writing, wanted to, but something has been holding you back?
Are you afraid you’re not a good writer? That no one will care? That your words won’t be perfect?
Those doubts and fears serve no one. Insights and stories in your head help no one.
Please reframe the way you see writing.
Writing is not an act of ego. It is an act of service.
Author Ray Bradbury said it best. “What does writing teach us? That we are ALIVE and it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”
That’s why we write. Because it is, as Natalie Goldberg says, a “way to live life twice.”
Something happens and we immediately reflect on it. What does it mean? How does it make me feel? What’s the lesson here? Is there an insight that might be meaningful to others?
We experience things more deeply and intensely because we’re not rushing through life – we’re writing about it.
As J. Michael Straczynski says, “Like everyone else, I am going to die. But the WORDS live on as long as there are readers to see them, audiences to hear them. It is immortality by proxy.”
YES, a thousand times yes. Center yourself in this. It is an honor to write. A blessing.
Remember Picasso’s quote about the purpose of life is to find your gift and the meaning is to give it away?
Have you ever thought of it that way? That writing is a gift you give away?
Please stop telling yourself that it’s somehow arrogant to share your gifts.
Please stop telling yourself that you don’t have time, or that you don’t have anything important to say. That no one will care. That it won’t be perfect.
Share your story. Your hard-won lessons. Your wishes and regrets.
If you dare to share what you’ve learned along the way, people will care.
And they will feel, “I’m not the only one?”
People you will never meet otherwise will resonate with your words, insights, story, music, art, creativity. They will feel connected.
And that is the ultimate purpose of all communication. To connect. Always to connect.