Where there was nothing.

I recently posited that writing fiction is a bit pointless if you never want to or don’t seek to share that writing through something as aspirational as publishing or as simple as reading it to your best friend. And now let me explain that I was completely and utterly incorrect.

One of my favorite podcasts is “Dear Hank and John” featuring the vlog brothers, otherwise known as John and Hank Green (yes, that John Green). It is a comedy podcast about death wherein the hosts dole out dubious advice. This week’s episode had John ask Hank if there was a meaning or purpose to human life. Over the course of their discussion, John said that he’d been thinking about the way people create something where there was once nothing; from art to writing to all the other many froms of creation. He then broke out this quote from William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

“I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work – a life’s work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before.”

And in hearing this quote I was humbled. Obviously, creating something, whatever form that something takes as you fashion it into being, is worthwhile regardless of who else might experience it. I knew this about journal writing already. But apparently I needed some room to see that it applies to the fictions we imagine and eek on to paper as well.

So regardless of whether you choose to share your writing*, I do hope you keep doing it and that its presence in the world makes it better even if only for yourself for the single drop is where every ocean began.

*personally, I’d still like you to share it! That experience too is a mgaical thing.

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