I’ve had a way with words ever since I could hold a pencil. Words are fascinating! Have you ever thought about how some books have changed the arc of history? Or about how the handful of words that fit within a character limit can capture the attention of the entire world? It is the power to catapult a neglected issue to center stage, or to fell a giant.
The reason why words have that power is that the stories they tell connect people. And I’ve come to understand that even though I make my living as “a writer,” what I really do is connect people.
To honor that power of connection and to make sense of the world around me, I am always seeking out ways to learn the stories that make up The Big Picture. Novels, newspapers, magazines, literary journals, comic books, cereal boxes, movies, t.v. shows, music, art, TED Talks, roundtable discussions over tea, existential debates over scotch…I’ll consume anything that helps me learn how people connect.
Eventually, it comes time for me to write. Then, people often say the same thing to me: “Okay, go work your magic.” As if I am some kind of word alchemist transforming words, instead of rocks, into gold! I laugh every time, but writing has always been the one thing I knew I was meant to do. I did a lot of different things for work before finally listening to my heart, owning it, and taking that sudden “write” turn to make writing my full-time vocation.
Now every story I learn connects me to something new, and every story I tell creates new connections.