Peaceful Stories

The writer’s life can feel divided into two realities. First, there is the reality away from the blank page. This is where I spend most of my time. In this reality, I feel much affected by where I am, or who I am with, or what I’m watching or reading. There is the cold or hot or wet or dry of the weather; there are the stories that entertain and inspire me and the stories that bore and depress me; there is news I’m glad for and the news that confuses and frustrates me; there are the emails I’ve been waiting for and the emails I’ve been dreading. As I roam around this reality, there are two immutable constants. First, the environment will change and change and change. The weather will change, the stories will change, the news will change, and the emails will change. Walking from one room to another changes something; turning to face a window instead of a wall changes something. The reality away from the blank page is as fluidly and constantly changing as a river or as the sweeping second of a clock to which that reality seems so strictly bound.

Yet amidst all this change I have but one unchanging desire: to be at peace. Not to be at rest – for I need to move and think and speak as much as the world must change – but to be at peace with whatever I do or wherever I am. Not a moment passes where I do not want to be at peace. Never once have I craved anger, disappoint, boredom, or despair. How easy it is to believe that the peace I crave is given or taken by those changes I cannot control.

And then I go to the blank page. I am responsible for all the changes on that page, and I am responsible for whether I find the effortless way forward or if I force my way forward. I can be at war with my story or at peace my story; it is entirely up to me. I believe this is why many people want to write but choose not to. Not because they are afraid they have nothing to say, or that the world will reject their stories, but because the blank page reveals the truth about that other reality: that it is no different. I am always the one at war or at peace with the story of life, and I can choose war or peace as easily as I choose my words.

If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group coaching.


Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence. You can find William at:

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