My First Love

For the past few weeks I’ve been writing about creativity more than focusing on writing specifically. I like to stretch my metaphorical legs every now and then.

But writing is my first true love, The One, the reason I started all this.

And it can get a little jelly when I pay too much attention to creativity, which I also love talking about, but is more general and diffuse.

There are lots of amazing creatives outlets that can add to your life. But I think writing is a unique case.

While I love cooking, for example, it’s a quieter, more meditative type of creativity. I love writing because it’s so active. It requires you to engage. There’s no following a recipe here: you’ve gotta participate, fully, if you want it to work.

When I started this newsletter, I wrote that the work of a lifetime is to learn to live in the draft: that our words rarely come out right the first time, or without practice, and that our job is to keep going back to the page, refining our words and our stories until the truth of who we really are emerges.

Writing has the alchemical ability to reveal both the truth of who we are, and to create the truth of who we are.

And this is because writing puts you in control of your life. It’s the one place in the world where you can fully explore what you think and feel without anyone else influencing you. No one else can do the writing for you — just like no one else can do the living for you (much as they might try).

So yes, , if other types of creativity make your little heart sing, do them. Love them. Get everything you can from them.

But when the proverbial is hitting the fan, when everything is in flux, when you need to just shut it all out and hear yourself, turn to the writing. Flush your system out onto the page and take a good look at what’s up.

Whether it’s healing, inspiration or a fresh take that you need, the path forward is lined with the pages you write.