What Matters

What Matters
It seems Mondays are for heavier topics lately, and today is going to be no exception. Don’t worry, I’ll pretend not to notice if you just want to flee out that side door there.
This isn’t actually as heavy a thing as it seems – I’m not going to talk about death or anything quite so dramatic. But I had a bit of a rough patch last week, in which my movement disorder was conquering everything from my ability to walk to my temper (red alert!) and it got me thinking.
I sometimes feel sorry for myself, and the fact that my life is never going to be the same, never going to be ordinary. I’ll never be able to trust my body, and many of the things I’ve always wanted to do are either going to be impossible, for safety reasons, or at least very difficult. And honestly, unless I’m just on a crying jag, I’ve accepted most of these things and I’m okay with it. I know that most of what I hope to achieve will be possible, and I always have new dreams to replace the old. But what matters most to me, above any of the other concerns, is that this disorder and everything it does in my life, matters.
I want to help people. I want the way I react to my disorder and the barriers it presents to mean something, not to me, but to the people around me. I want to prove that you are only held back by your beliefs about yourself, and that difficulty in your life shouldn’t change how you treat others or how much you give to the world. I want it all to matter. I’m accepting of whatever happens, as long as it matters.
You’ve chosen to write a book, at least I’m guessing that’s why you’re a reader of this blog. You’ve chosen a story, out of the thousands of ideas available to you, and you’re investing time and energy into it. Maybe years. Why have you chosen that story? What does it mean – to the characters, to you, to the world? Why does it matter?
Mattering isn’t reserved for thick works of literary genius or stories about death, sickness, and loss. Every story matters, each one is one of the threads that weave a world of diversity, beauty, and strength. I write about magical creatures, kids with homework, people falling in love, symphonies, ghosts, and secrets, but they are stories I tell for a reason. Some of the characters have trouble making friends. Some of them have disabilities, or are homeless, or know who they want to be and can’t figure out how to become that person. That’s why those stories matter.
So that’s your writing thought for today – if you’re blocked, or tired, struggling with the words or if they’re flowing freely – why do they matter? What is the heart of your story, and why does the world need to know it? Find what matters, and you just might find the words to say why.

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2 thoughts on “What Matters

  1. This is a nice nugget for a Monday. Writing can sometimes feel like such a selfish endeavor because we spend so much time alone with these stories. But eventually, they will get out in the world (if we will let ourselves let the stories go), and then they will matter (hopefully) to someone. Thanks for this.

  2. Jamie–this is a heavy Monday topic, but it’s also a wonderful one. Living a life that matters–that’s why I teach and write. Let’s have a chat about this sometime!

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