“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn about love and fate, and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured!”
I would so like to claim those few sentences as my own, but they’re not. They are the opening lines in a book I’ve just started reading, the book is called “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts, and it’s a very challenging book about the time he spent in Bombay India.
Actually the book is about the human ‘condition’ but what is that ‘human condition?’
If we asked a hundred people what it was I bet we’d get a hundred and one answers! Everyone would have their idea about it, but most come to some form of compromise they agree on, but it’s not what they truly think!
To me, that’s what writing is about, as writers we get, we create the opportunities to explore all the different emotions and feelings that make up what we think and feel.
We create the opportunities to take people ‘out of their comfort zone’. To explore “What it means to be Human”
Be it the adventure story that gives people a shot of adrenaline, or a love story that takes us on the journey that love and the sometime consequences of heartbreak, or the ‘happy ever after’ they’re all part of what makes us Human, and they’re all part of what we as writers get to explore, isn’t that exciting?
“Writing is like breathing”
I’ve been trying to come up with some ‘inspiring’ thought to share on my blog all weekend, and now, just as the weekend is coming to a close the ‘MUSE’ has finally shown up giving me an idea what to write!
Actually it’s because I’ve just watched an interview by one of the greats of New Zealand literature, Joy.Cowley. she’s 80 this year and still writing!
As she was speaking she was basically saying “a writer writes because they can’t not write” it’s like a Human needs oxygen to breathe and a writer needs to write, we can’t help it!
Another thing she said was “The person who said you only live once has never read a book!”
The idea behind that one was that as we read a book it’s as if we take on the ‘lives’ of the people in that book, and for a few brief moments, as we’re reading we ‘become them!’
So how about it, do you take people to another ‘level’ or realm with the writing? It’s a great thing to aim for.
Just after the interview was another one about a young skateboarder making it big in the USA, she’s only 16 and although her Mum was terrified of some of the stunts etc Mum said “it’s like a drug, she can’t go more than a couple of days without skating or she gets grouchy”
That got me thinking, “do I get grouchy if I don’t write?”
I know for me it starts to feel like a dam being blocked up, the sluice gates closed and pressure building, opening those gates gives life and power to a dry land, that’s what writing to me!
How about you?
They say there are only three constants in life. They are death, taxes and change! It’s the last one I want to think on at the moment as the first happens to us all eventually and I only know one man alive who hasn’t paid tax in thirty years and he’s running for president of the country where he hasn’t paid tax! (But he has paid an army of lawyers and tax accountants so maybe it’d be cheaper just to pay the tax?)
People talk about changes as if they’re a ‘necessary evil’ to be endured, but is that a good way to look at them?
We know they happen, so what about getting prepared for them and not just ‘enduring’ but pushing forward and even (dare I say it) helping shape those changes?
Sounds strange right? But it’s true, take a moment to think about what you want, then have a think about what it’s going to take to get there, then make whatever changes are needed.
For me, those changes at times have taken me across lands and to some very different cultures, I’ve had the choice of ‘grin and bear it’ and at times that’s what I did, but there’s also been the option to not just embrace the change, but take the time to ‘shape the change’
One phrase that I used to hear a lot, and one that I’ve sought to try and live by is that in this world there’s three types of people.
- Those in the news. Things happen to them and they often don’t know why. They don’t always understand it, sometimes we think of these folks as being the ‘perpetual victim’ as they aren’t in control.
- Those who watch the news. They see stuff happening, but it’s always to someone else and it doesn’t really affect them! The world is full of these folks, the spectators, those who sit and watch life slip by then one day they wake up and it’s too late, life has gone by and they missed their dream. They’re now at the end and no one knows who they were!
- Those who make the news! These are the people who make a difference with their lives, think of any well known person and you’ll come across a ‘news-maker’ but the great thing is not all of them are famous! Think of the people making a real difference in your community, they’re the news-makers and their impact is huge. They not only embraced change, they’re leading the way!
“If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got”
So what about you? which one are you? I know which one I want to be, I’ve wanted it since I was a teenager and I’ll never stop being that idealist, I’ll never stop chasing that want to be one who makes a difference, it’s just the way I make the difference might change!
Part of my dream