Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

LEGACY 14: THE VALUE OF WRITING

May 24, 2018

(LEGACY 13 is missing not for any superstitious reason but simply because i got stuck. But I don’t want to lose momentum, so for now, I’m skipping it.

It was titled THE VALUE OF MARRIAGE, originally “written” 10/12/14, but it turns out to be only an introductory paragraph. Trying to complete it now, I’m not happy with what I’m coming up with it. Hopefully I will cobble something together that is meaningful. Suffice it to say for now that I think marriage has great value. My first lasted 25 years and ended only because my wife died. My second is coming up on 19 years.

This blogpost, LEGACY 14, was originally written 03/21/15 and is posted verbatim with only one small change.)

Writing for some can be journaling or blogging. I’ve done both, but not consistently. I strongly encourage some sort of writing by which you are leaving a legacy. I would treasure reading some of the thoughts of my ancestors. What went through their minds? What were their experiences, and their understanding of the journeys?

One hidden value, however, is that writing itself can change you, develop you, and even re-create you. I think of my favorite songwriter’s statement about the Christian Creed, “I did not make it, no, it is making me.” Writing can be a process of enlightenment. I can recall times when I have realized something, had a revelation, seen something in a different light, while in the process of writing about it. Sometimes the very process of writing caused me to write something totally unexpected, something totally different from what I started out to write about. And I end up sometimes thinking of myself—and others—differently.

Writing has a calming effect for me. It brings me perspective, enables me to see things through others’ eyes, forgive where I need to, even pray for someone or through something. Writing is a microcosmic journey, a mini-adventure. It can capture a dream or explore mysteries.

Writing well-done can move the world. Think of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, some of Shakespeare’s soliloquies or Donne’s sonnets. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Lincoln felt, contributed significantly to bringing the Civil War to a head, and there are other books—novels, exposés, and such—that have had similarly great impact.

Writing releases tension AND energy. Writing brings ideas into a reality of concreteness. Writing connects us with like minds.

Writing is a vehicle for creativity to go places, to gain traction, to start movements.

Writing can be life-giving, life-breathing, breathtaking. Writing can spark fires that cannot be quenched, and quench fires that should never have been started.

An ancient Chinese proverb says, “Weakest ink stronger than strongest memory.” If we want memory to go further than our lifetime and the memories of those who have known us directly, writing is the only way.

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Happy People Don’t Write…Or Do They?

June 5, 2013

I find that when things are going well—when I’m happy—I don’t have the urge to write. Or perhaps it simply slides down or off the list of things I “really want to do.” When my two-year-grandson is with us, the sunshine, the sheer unabated joy of life he experiences, and even the intensity of the pains he feels, totally consume my thoughts, and I want to shut out everything else just to experience it. Writing a blogpost is the last thing on my mind.

I got some insight into this thru some sales training I’m taking (Sandler, for the record). It seems that, in statistical studies, people are motivated by a 2:1 factor by pain over other motivators. In other words, people buy to avoid pain at least twice as frequently as they do to satisfy any other need—pleasure, achieving a benefit, security, etc. And that seems to be human nature. It is the basis for most of the advertising media—create dissatisfaction, and people will buy.

So—I’m happy, therefore I don’t write. Simple.

Or is it? Yes, people are far less willing to buy into Pollyannaish stories than into Peyton Place, but still, there are genuinely happy stories to tell. Oftentimes, they are stories of overcoming some great pain—stories of courage, heroism, etc. Most of us really do like happy endings. But the key is in that phrase—“ending”—implying that there was an unhappier beginning, or middle. Every good story introduces conflict to move the plot.

So do happy people write? Sure they do. Maybe they just don’t get the publicity or the buy-in from people whose opinions seem to matter, but they do write. They may even be writing in private journals, pearls they hide away to keep them from being trampled on. Motivations for writing (or any creative art, for that matter) are as multitudinous as motivations for living, for relationships, or for being in business.

I write because I can. I write because it expresses me, it re-creates me, it grows me, it takes me places I’ve never been, and gives me thoughts I never had (this is one of them, in fact), and opens horizons of mind and relationship that would not have been there before. Writing is the vehicle to take me on a tour, around the world in 80 years—hey, I’m 75% there already. But I want the remaining 25% to eclipse the rest, just as the past year with my grandson has eclipsed the 59 that went before. I can’t explain it, but I can enjoy it.

And I can write about it, and maybe help someone else find their way into that joy.