“Each time we write, we create a connection between the inner and external worlds we inhabit.” – Ralph Wahlstrom
If you don’t think your writing is a major connector in your life, consider this quote from Wahlstrom’s The Tao of Writing One might go as far as saying that without this connection, these two worlds float by each other, rarely providing the other with meaning or influence. A suitable definition of writing might be “to explain, in written word, how our inner world connects and relates to our external existence.”
Writing, for me at least, helps explain life in ways I can’t vocalize. The act of this connection is, in essence, creativity. For every action, such as committing thought to paper, there is a necessary reaction, in this case usually in the form of editing and a good, purging rewrite. Physics shows us this action-reaction relationship exists, as does the yin and yang principle. In verbalizing our concerns and feelings using structured language in written form, we are tearing down preconceptions and old thought patterns, replacing them with new ones, much like the destructive forces of nature via a volcano gives way to rich, fertile volcanic ash and eventual return of flora and fauna.
The cycle of build-destroy is a vital part of any creative process, for without it we could not progress the evolution of these connections. As Wahlstrom put it, “Creation is what we do while we’re waiting to die, and if we’re lucky, we do it pretty well.” So clearly, it’s all about the process, the journey, as it should be. While publication may be a writer’s goal, the power lies in the objectives supporting that goal: skill improvement, learning, expressing, and most vitally, providing the necessary connection between our inner and outer worlds.