I received this very interesting email today from one of my readers…and it put me into very deep thought about how I was going to respond. In short, the email was very gracious…and it was requesting that I write like I used to write, because those old blog posts (there was no specification to how far back she had been reading) were more meaningful to her and they connected with her more. I absolutely love receiving emails from people telling me what they are getting from this blog and what they like and don’t like etc. This one struck me not because of the request, but because it brought up something I have preached over the past few years. Being present. Which brings me to two amazing quotes by Hemingway on writing.
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.
Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it
I have said it before…and I will hold onto this statement as the pure truth of why I write till the day I die. I am not writing for anyone else but me. Writing has made my life so much more meaningful than it ever was, and it helped me create a world and a vision that could not be seen years ago. This goes right back to the original intent of the blog…which I say in my speech. It is not a guidebook for anyone else, but rather the story of the things I am learning along the way on the journey of becoming a better man. I know some people will get specific things from my journey, and others will get a completely different response. However, my writing and my journey are about what is going on in my life. One of the billions out there, and I just happen to have put it on paper for people to see. I wake up each and every day seeing that day as an opportunity to improve upon myself and to continue down the path that I have chosen. If that is the right path who knows? But is it the path that I believe in deep down in my heart? Yes. I can say in dead honesty, I have never sat down and said to myself, “Evan…let’s really knock their socks off today.” If I do this… I am lost. The intent is gone, and so is the point of writing.
But I would like to address the request in another way. In reading the book 4 times, and rereading a lot of the posts I have written that aren’t part of the book and that are more “modern,” I think there is a lot to be gained from the newer writing. I will be honest…when I first started blogging…those posts were about a monumental amount of personal pain and anguish. The degree of that pain will never be fully understood by those who have read the blog because there are just certain things that never need to be put into writing. However, through that time in my life, I learned the lesson of Never Quitting. Never giving up on yourself. Through the years following, and through thousands of more pages written, I learned the two other connecting pieces: Love, and Passion. This was all part of a process that has turned me into the person I am today. If I went back to writing the way I did back then…then I would be miserable. I remember sitting down at the keyboard and sometimes putting my face in my hands and crying. I understand the request, and respect the time it took to email me, however, going back to that time and that way of writing is not something I will ever do or look forward to doing in the future. I know it will probably happen sometime down the line, but we will tackle that when we get there.
The reason why the email put me into such deep thought is because it forced me to think about how the writing has evolved over the past few years and recently in the past few months. With each new post, there is an opportunity to do something different and hone a skill that hasn’t been touched yet. I think that in our lives with everything we have this same opportunity. To continue working as hard as possible on ourselves and improving every day. But we do not look back on the past and wish for something that is long gone. We instead look to the present moment as the only true moment that matters. What I have found in my own writing is that it is connecting with a lot of people deep down within their hearts. This has created a community that I feed with my words and they feed me with their support and motivation. I improve because of their love, and they improve because of mine. What still astounds me is that there are thousands of people who are reading this every single day and take the time to write me something that is very meaningful to them. When this happens, we only get stronger as a single unit. Not two separate entities, but as one. One loving, passionate, never quitting machine ready to do good in the world.
I will be writing till the day my engines kick out. And I will continue to improve upon myself and test new waters in my writing. Sometimes I will fail miserably, and sometimes I will succeed. But to not try is my personal definition of failure. This is how I can grow. To morph, to adapt, and to change along the way.
I can promise you though…that I will continue sailing uncharted waters.
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