What do you value? If you’re a writer, it’s a question worth asking every time you sit down at your desk. It’s best to be honest. Perhaps you believe you should answer, “Love, friendship, and integrity,” but you most want to answer, “A big house, a new dress, and endless compliments.” Begin where you are. If you continue to be honest, you will find that it is not the big house you value, but the feeling of being in a big house; so too the new dress, and the endless compliments. Or perhaps it is not even the feeling of being in a big house, but the fantasy of what being in that big house will feel like. Perhaps it is only the fantasy of the freedom spaciousness can bring, and the fantasy of comfort it’s gates will provide. Perhaps also, you entertain the fantasy that every day you open its front door you will at last feel as valuable as you secretly believe you are but for which you have no proof.
What do you value? Is feeling not the only thing we humans actually value? Are not all the things we own and crave owned and craved for the feelings we hope they will excite within us? In this way, let writing teach you what you must surely already know. There at your desk you have nothing but your own thoughts and imagination. There at your desk you can crave nothing or no writing will occur. And yet there at your desk you have available to you the entire spectrum of human feeling. You summon each feeling within yourself and translate those feelings into scenes, characters, and words.
You know this is true. You know you needed nothing but yourself to feel everything. Writing has taught us this, and yet still we will forget when we leave the desk. What do you value? You are sharing that answer in your work every day. What do you value? That is what you buy and sell. What do you value? Answer it honestly and it is yours, instantly and completely, without the obstruction of time and distance, it is yours in a thought, ready to be shared in these gifts we call stories.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.