The Rawness of Being Human
and Week 22 of 40 Weeks of Inspiration
I have always been a voracious reader, almost gluttonous if there is such a thing when it comes to books. I will sometimes have my hands on three or four at one time. I just can’t get enough of the range of content and how each has its own flavor that feeds my soul in a different way. As a writer myself, reading other writers is for pleasure, growth, and research. As a recovering perfectionist, reading other writers for research can also be a slippery slope, comparing my style to others, feeling my work is subpar to those who have big book deals with copies lining bookstore shelves and libraries. But my focus has morphed into something more and is less about comparison and more about being inspired by the individual creative expression of our lives.
As of late, I have been reading more memoirs, inspired by the author’s courage to spill their heart and soul onto blank pages to be shared amongst strangers. I respect their vulnerability in exposing their secrets, their insecurities, their challenges which become morsels for hungry vultures who only know to pick at what’s before them. I am inspired by their self-expression, allowing their art to subjectively be on display for admirers and abhorrers alike. Reading their stories inspires me to keep writing my own, to continue honing my skills, to continue giving myself permission to release more of my art into the world.
How cathartic writing can be. The tear-stained pages that lay before us, inked with our insecurities, triumphs, pain and suffering—the rawness of being human. It’s what writing—or really any work of art—truly is: a close look at our humanness. It’s personal and intimate. It’s allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and accept the negative and positive criticism. Some of us have already spent a large portion of our lives being picked apart, by others and ourselves, and being an artist can often amplify that.
Writing is a dance between our darkness and our light, allowing both to be seen on the same pages, giving permission to exist in the same space. It’s shedding a light on the duality of life, the complexities of everyday living along with its simplicity, the rise and fall of our internal struggles. It’s a way to make sense of what doesn’t always make sense, to paint life with more vibrancy and depth, to give it more meaning.
I’ve always been a writer. Perhaps reading and writing go hand-in-hand. It is amazing how you can weave words together to create a beautiful tapestry of our humanness, of our individual journeys. How carefully chosen words can create an escape for the mind and soul. How someone else’s story can touch us in corners of our being that we didn’t know existed. How we can feel connected to someone else because of the words they wove together that we are certain speak directly to us.
I feel that is what keeps many writers, including myself, going. The idea that what we share, what we choose to release into the world, will resonate with at least one person. That somehow our words will settle into another person’s heart and help them feel less alone. That in some way we are helping another person work through their own narrative. I know that in reading the words others choose to share, I have felt these very things.
As I always say, your story isn’t over yet. Keep writing.
And so I shall keep writing too.
REFLECTION: How do you choose to share your humanness with the world?
40 Weeks of Inspiration: Week 22
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