How can you Write When you Don’t Even Know who you are?
The page demands accountability. Without it, you’re just typing.
You always win or declare the game unfair. Or you know learning how to lose is the only way to win. You either run on entitlement or humility.
Or maybe you’re not bothered about winning or losing; you just get on with the task at hand. You like to focus on what you can do rather than what should be done. When the two don’t intersect naturally, you make them, often in odd or unexpected ways.
Because imagination is your Swiss Army knife. It cuts through the crap, unscrews clichés, and whittles down prejudices.
It drives you toward pursuits and people, one experiment at a time. You don’t deny, outsource, or offload risk; you either embrace or avoid it, depending on the outcomes of your calculations. When there’s no time for any, you go with your gut to where you can try and be useful.
Sometimes, you hinder more than you help. This is how you learn, without compromising on mutual benefit. Not everyone understands the concept.
Our principles hold us when our actions fail us but a competitive culture is painfully short on those and not everyone gets a chance to compete.
To you, life is that endless malleable quantity that shrinks a little more every day, an amorphous repository of possibilities you try and shape the best you can. It’s a circle, a square, a triangle, or some wonky assemblage of all three, depending on what the moment demands.
You are curious, aware of how little you know, open and receptive to anything that tickles your imagination.
It often runs wild, defying conjuring up hope in a world of nope because what else are you gonna do? Declare life is unfair to prevent yourself from feeling like a loser? Splitting everything into two right down the middle is an ungenerous idea. Withhold judgment, accept what is, deal.
You observe without averting your eyes. Understanding always begins with interest and the intent to connect with another mind, another heart.
Communication isn’t an otherworldly skill but we’re not good at it because we’re too busy marketing who we’d like to be instead of simply being.
As with winning and losing, you’re not bothered. You do blame yourself for never being quite as blunt as required, mindful of not making anyone feel worse than they already do. 2020 is so off the charts you might as well let rip and offend people into thinking. Amid echo chambers, it’s a bold move.
Mellow yet spiky, sharp yet gentle, a little odd; you’re willing yourself to emerge from chaos, one word at a time, and unfold into greater ease.
Storytelling is a process of discovery. The key that unlocks understanding is your voice: You’ll never know what you’re thinking if you sound like someone else. Be your own style guide, create your own editorial rules, and remember ethics matter more than ever.
Some stories will always have a broader wingspan than others. If you’re willing to brave it, the page will yield many answers, none of them obvious.
I’m a French-American writer, journalist, and editor now based in the Netherlands. To continue the conversation, follow the bird. For email and everything else, deets in bio.