You can’t stop the waves – but you can write

Writers feel with passion. Even if they don’t outwardly show their emotions, happiness often is experienced as a rapturous joy while a small rebuke instantly evokes self-doubt. Feelings always wash over and through the writer.

Indeed, sometimes for writers, life flows like the cycles of waves crashing upon the shore – the anger and energy of a high tide, the sadness and vapidity of the low. Many times, these waves of emotions run in different directions at the same time, one hurtling toward the shoreline as another recedes from an adjoining strand.

Writers pen words because they must make sense of these rhythms, of the whole cycle and every crest and trough in it. In that sense, passion – those strong, barely containable feelings that we tumble through – pushes us to write.

This compulsion to write, seemingly as constant as the ocean’s rise and fall, is a natural reflex. And often in life, we cannot know what kind of wave is coming. It might be a mountainous one, it might be a mere whisper. Likewise, in writing we often do not know where our passions will take us when we sit down with pen in hand or a keyboard before us. What is created from the wave may be a novel of tsunami-sized proportions or it may be the gentle whisper of a few simple sentences.

And what will be the impact of those words? Sometimes the largest waves make no difference to the rock-hard shoreline while the smallest wave is the one that at last triggers a massive landslide. But each of our words always makes a difference, even if immeasurable today.