So, I didn’t win, or even place, in Jeff’s Goins’ You Are a Writer contest. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I was one of 138 writers who publicly stood up and declared our innermost identities. Isn’t that the most important thing? That we claim our talents and make use of them – freely, openly, and fiercely?
Okay, you ask… who did win the contest? Just what did that person have to say that made him or her stand out among all those fascinating, funny, crazy, creative entries?
Judge for yourself – watch Dustin Smith’s video and be inspired by the clear-sighted acknowledgment that a writer takes risks. (By the way, Dustin uses his own music in this video. Can we say multi-talented?)
There you have it. A writer takes risks in order to invite the rest of the world to see what he sees, to feel what she feels, to dream as they dream. To discover the mystery, the adventure, the sublime and the ridiculous that makes up our world and find the common thread that runs beneath it all.
A writer asks the hard questions and finds new ways to express them, to engender a new awareness of the world for the reader. A writer invites the reader to participate in the resolution of those questions. A writer sparks new ideas in his readers’ consciousness with his questions.
That means when you create a story or a character, you don’t take the easy way out. You build characters that grow and change because they are imperfect, just as we are, and just as the world is around us. You draw the reader into the emotions generated by the circumstances of your story to help her see what she has turned away from out of fear of the unknown. You make the reader flinch as he faces a truth he has ignored. You show the reader who he is, and how he becomes a better person through hearing or reading the stories of others. You assist him in seeing how sharing in these stories weaves another thread in the Story of Life.
Dustin’s doing all this over at his blog, Propensity For Curiosity – A Quest to Find Story in the World of Ideas. And he’s doing it for, and about, the very real world we live in. Be sure to visit his Start Here page, to discover the fundamental convictions that drive his focus on facing the risks and the truth. Then follow his blog posts, where each week discovers a new subject to mull over, and where Dustin allows his readers to vote for the topic up for discussion in the next week.
Do I wish I had won the contest (and the cool prizes)? Sure. But I had a wonderful time creating my entry and reading every one of the 137 other entries. A huge Thank You goes to Jeff Goins for running this contest. Plus a full out, shout-it-from-the rooftops Congratulations to Dustin M. Smith for inspiring all of us to take the risk and write our heart’s message. Let’s all lift our preferred caffeinated beverage in respect for a challenge well met. Salute!
Leave a comment and tell us what risk you have taken as a writer, and how that made you feel. If you haven’t yet taken a risk, tell us how you plan to step to the edge, leap, and become a writer.
Thank you, Dustin, for allowing me to post your inspiring video here on Transformational Editor.