Like Fire And The Blade

Words are one of humanity’s most versatile tools.

Like fire and the blade, words have transformed the course of human history and continue to shape us to this day.

So too can they can be used for good or for ill.

Words can warm our spirits, cut us free of our limits and empower us to explore ourselves and the world. But they can also hurt us, divide us, and set us against each other.

That’s why now, when words are more plentiful than ever before, it is so important to get every word right.

Whether you consider yourself a writer, a reader, a word nerd, a grammar geek, a bibliophile, a concerned citizen or simply a curious bystander, you know if you’re reading these emails that our words matter.

They have power and they have consequences, and they come from within us, so to get our words right, we also have to get ourselves right.

We have to get to know ourselves, and to learn to observe the world truthfully, and this is what writing teaches us to do.

Writing empowers us to know and love ourselves, which empowers us to know and love — and ultimately change — the world around us.

Writing makes us better thinkers, better doers, better people, and it’s a virtuous cycle. As one aspect of our life improves, it lifts every other part of us, so that through our writing practice, we are constantly growing, becoming more and more ourselves.

Writing is where we can wield power in the world. It’s how we can hone our views on what matters to us, and learn to shape the conversation, drive action, make change.

Writing is driven by purpose, and it also reveals our purpose.

We write because we need to understand ourselves and to make sense of the world, and as the writing brings clarity, we also start to see our place in things and why we are here.

I think we all have something we’re here to do. Maybe it’s to bring love and stability to a small corner of the world. Maybe it’s to lift others out of need. Maybe it’s to defend what cannot defend itself.

We all have a purpose, and writing is a means to achieving it. Sometimes writing itself is the end goal, but no matter how it features, writing helps us take our place in the world, to leave our mark, and to do something that goes far beyond ourselves.

Like building a fire or sharpening a blade, writing takes work, and practice.

But once earned, it is a skill that can never be taken away, and never becomes less powerful. So I invite you, beg you today — write, about everything.

Write about yourself, about your people, about the work you’re here to do. Choose every word for the precious job it has to do, which is to bring more truth and clarity and joy into your life.