A Meaning for Us

I’m looking outside my window as my children nap. I’m bearing slight chitchat coming from the direction of the neighbors, and my Pandora station is fired up at the time of this writing. But for the most part, it’s a rather quiet instant in this writer’s life. I’m still waiting on the beta readers to send me their notes for Interstellar Dad: Mass Reproduction. In the meantime, I have a rough draft project in my ninth book that’s keeping me busy in my free time.

Although to be honest, lately I haven’t been as much in the spirit to write. Don’t get me wrong; I love writing. It has been there for me when everything else has failed. Getting my thoughts and ideas down on the page, I find myself with a sense of fulfillment in the act of creating something. Whether or not that something pans out to mean much of anything remains to be seen. I suppose it has to have meaning or else I never would have worked on it in the first place.

I think this is a fundamental element in why writers write. We need to find meaning in something, whether it’s the meaning within ourselves, the meaning of our relationships with one another, or just the meaning of our place in the universe. Since the moment our species learned to write, we have sought out to define our existence through our words, to give us a sense of value.

Right now, I’m trying to find meaning in why I write, and more importantly, what happens when we lose sight of our meaning. In the past hour, I’ve come to learn that a writer who I’ve never interacted with, but who had a heck of a following, took her own life this morning. I do not know what drew her to that final action, but I do know that a lot of people are going to struggle to find meaning in this tragedy. Perhaps there may be a sort of meaning that people will never truly understand. I know I don’t, and I would never presume to claim otherwise.

The veil of doubt is a dark one that can, and often times does, eclipse the light in our lives. It pales whatever meaning we have found in ourselves, casting a sense of despair and furthering that doubt that nothing we do will ever matter.

Everyone matters. Your art matters. Please don’t ever forget that.

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