Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve finally started dipping my toes back into the pool of writing fiction. I’m finally developing a story idea into a real book after more than a year of “absent creativity”—and at last, I had a revelation: my creativity hadn’t really been gone; it had merely been asleep, recharging.
When I was a teenager, my dream was to be a novelist. I would sit in my room at my desk for hours, plotting, writing, editing. The “life of a writer” consumed me. This was all I ever wanted: for it to be me, my characters, and my world. And of course, one day, a best-selling novel. But things didn’t quite work out that way.
If you’re anything like me, nothing has ever sounded as dull as simply “being normal”. Having a normal job and doing normal things like normal people. It turns you off because, deep down, you know you were made for more than that. You have a purpose, and “normalcy” is your enemy—or is it?
I just want to take a minute to say something that should be pretty obvious, but for some reason isn’t: People are not normal. People are complex, vibrant, mysterious, and deep—sometimes even beyond their own realization. You are one of those people. But unique people like you and I sometimes end up doing “normal things”—and we beat ourselves up for it.
“Reading is an act of resistance in a landscape of distraction.” That’s how author David L. Ulin put it, and I quite agree. In our culture, distractions hold a tyrannical reign, and unless we learn to resist them, they will devour our time.
There’s something special about reading—something you can’t achieve by watching a movie or listening to an audiobook. Reading a magic all its own. It draws your mind to focus; challenges your imagination to spin into gear. If you aren’t making time to read, you’re missing a lot of extraordinary benefits.
Creative people are naturally independent. We like to think for ourselves and test our own theories, ideas, and methods. Sometimes we even end up convincing ourselves we don’t need anyone else—ever.
As much as we like to function within our own rhythms, living in a bubble will hinder your creativity and limit your impact, causing you to miss out on some incredible benefits that come when you open yourself up to working with others.
We all grew up with fairytales. Stories such as Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland can probably be found scattered throughout your childhood, and for good reason. There’s just something fantastic about them.
Children everywhere are fascinated by fairytales. They have always been had a high value placed on them in society. Albert Einstein said that if you want your kids to be intelligent, read them fairytales. There’s something about these stories that makes them very special—something that many adults no longer recognize.
“What are you going to do?”
If you’re a college student, that question is probably as familiar to you as the air you breathe. Even if you’re still in high school, you’ve likely heard the same thing. What direction are you going to take your life?
In this culture, we’re okay with living small. We don’t like risks—especially if those risks may end up costing or hurting us. It’s scary to step out too far, so we rarely do. Living small is comfortable.
It’s difficult to break out of the mediocrity of small living: the comfort zone. Yet deep down, we long for more. For adventure. We thirst for a bigger purpose, and so we turn to stories.