The Purpose of Goals
This week, I went to see Maiden, a documentary about the first all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Race, in which yachts sail around the world. It’s an engrossing, fascinating tale of determination and resilience. One of the most interesting pieces is how the women’s goals shifted over time, along with their levels of perspective and self-knowledge. Undergoing something difficult will change you.
The Purpose of Stories
We, as writers, often fail to realize is that we ourselves are undergoing this change even as we write.
This is what stories are almost always about: someone undergoes a challenging situation and, by the end, emerges as a different version of themselves. What we, as writers, often fail to realize is that we ourselves are undergoing this change even as we write. Any long-form writing—whether it’s a piece of nonfiction, a novel, a memoir, or anything else—is a challenge to write. And the difficulties we face in creation will lead us to new thoughts, new ideas, new perspectives, and almost always, new levels of self-knowledge.
I know many writers dream of fame and fortune. These things are wonderful, but they are not in our control. What is in our control is the art itself, and our own willingness to learn from the process. This is how we teach ourselves...by letting the art teach us.
Take some time to write this week, knowing that the act has something wonderful in store for you. But you must be present to win.