If you’re a writer, you may have heard of NaNoWriMo (also known as National Novel Writing Month), where authors sprint to fifty-thousand words in just thirty days. If you’re not a writer, you’re probably wondering what possessed me to do something so stupid.
NaNoWriMo usually takes place in November, but halfway through April, I decided that I needed to write a novel now. I was tired of waiting for inspiration to strike from somewhere in the great beyond, so at the beginning of May, I did something I haven’t done in years: I just sat down and started writing.
I haven’t done a book review in awhile, but Salt to the Sea deserves one. What follows will be spoiler-free, so fear not, friends, and read on.
I’ve talked several times on here about why reading is a great pastime, and why you should read more books. But if you only read one book this summer, it should be this one. And should you survive the journey, there are always other books to continue on with.
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.
When I look around at people I admire, a certain word comes to mind: powerful. These are great people: influencers, leaders; people worthy of respect. These are the people I aspire to be like, and so I started pondering the question: “What makes someone truly powerful?”
When I say “power”, I’m not talking about authority or force, but strength. Impact. Security. The people I admire most have a sense of personal identity and strength of character that makes them stand out, and today I want to talk about six habits I’ve noticed that all these great influencers have in common.
Life in the Perilous Realm is hard. It’s easy to dream of being a hero—to read stories and watch movies and imagine you’re in them, but when it comes down to it, we often respond like Frodo: that our own adventure has turned out quite different.
On the outside, we see glamor. Success. Triumph. All around us, people seem to be winning at life: the co-worker who just got promoted, the young couple who recently got engaged, or the college graduate who landed their first career job. And then there’s us, in the dust—struggling.
The pursuit of Wonder is not for cowards. It’s a journey deep into the Perilous Realm of life, curiosity, and—ultimately—truth. To follow after Wonder is one of the most daring things a person can do in a world bent on the security of small living.
If we want to live truly incandescent lives, we must pursue Wonder. We must heed the call and gather our courage: courage to see beyond, to go where others will not; to seek truth and beauty and share it with the world. This is a call for heroes.
I know how it is. You’re tired. Life has thrown you under the bus and you’re defeated. Burnt out. How can you ever keep up when you’ve fallen this far behind? It’s like you’re waiting for the dust to settle but instead, it becomes a storm; a vicious howl around you. And you just can’t. Listen up, hero—I get it. You are weary.
Weariness. We’ve all felt it, haven’t we? Yet it’s not so easy to describe, because “I’m tired” implies you’ll be okay with sleep. But you won’t. Because weariness is beyond that; it’s like inspiration—the very breath of your soul—is being sucked from your lungs, and you don’t know how to get it back. How do I know? Well, I’ve been there, too. Right now, in fact.