”Each time we write, we create a connection between the inner and external worlds we inhabit.” - Ralph Wahlstrom
For writers who think writing is all about connecting with readers, pause to reflect on the above quote from Wahlstrom’s The Tao of Writing. One might even stretch to say that without nurturing this connection, these two worlds may float by each other, rarely providing the other with meaning or influencing our written words. 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 connecting these opposites is, in essence, a creative act. For every action, such as committing thought to paper, there is a necessary reaction. 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 a volcano contributing rich, fertile volcanic ash eventually leading to a return of lush 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 or the journey, as it should be. While publication may be a writer’s overt goal, real personal value comes from fulfilling objectives supporting that goal: skill improvement, learning, expressing, and most vitally, providing a necessary connection between our inner and outer worlds.