The reasons why writing a book is so good for you may be different than you think.
Many people – most people – have blockages to writing and telling their story going back to early childhood. The narratives and identity of family are a huge influence over our storytelling. So are the explicit and implicit contracts made in our groups of origin. These unseen, and often unspoken rules are the most common and powerful barrier to authentic storytelling, in our culture. We hold to the idea that to tell the whole truth is to betray. Other cultures understand the power of stories to heal and connect, us to each other, to our past, to our future.
More obstacles await. Books are mythical objects, the embodiment of knowledge and receptacles of power. Those who create them are (supposedly) the elite, the intellectual juggernauts, the academic eschalon of our society. They have excelled. They are gifted. They have been discovered. They have battled, and won. They are the knowledgable, the superior, the awesome. Who are we to write a book? Who are we to think we could be of that ilk? Who do we think we are? To write a book is to venture, “I have something worthy to say.” It’s to rise above, and we know, those who rise up have nowhere to go but down.
We believe we are not worthy. Not enough.
More myths. To tell our story out in the open is like standing naked in the street. We believe it’s an invitation to criticism, failure, ridicule, rejection and humiliation. Why would anyone do that on purpose? It’s breaking the rules of mediocrity. It’s setting ourselves apart from the crowd. Books and stories are subversive. And nobody likes a poser.
To write a book is to believe you can change the world. It is to change the world. It’s to birth a change in three dimensions. Spirit, voice and paper. It’s to agree with God and forward the expansion of atoms and molecules, participate in the ongoing act of creation. It’s to be a co-conspirator in making the world, rather than a partner in destroying it. Oh, you will be branded as a terrorist and a murderer because you write, but only by those who risk losing their power because of your truth.
There’s no place for victim stories in this world. We don’t need your “testimony” – your “I once was garbage, but then I was saved and made good” story – we need you to own it all, inhabit it all, love it all and forgive it all. We need you to show compassion for yourself, because then we’ll know you have compassion for who, what and where we are now. Don’t think you need to know the formula for how to be all-fixed-up – just show us what it means for you to walk a human journey in a restless, diverse, violent, wonderful world. Just tell the truth.
You can write a story, and you can write a book. Books change the world, simply because they exist. They are your spirit and experience come to earth and made flesh, walking amongst us. They called Jesus “The Word” – he was a living, breathing story, a manifestation of Gods epitaph to us. Be the Jehovah of your experience, of your life, and bring us your precious, unique, healing, wonderful word.
Write your story.