words and images by mk swanson
Writing for My Life

Writing for My Life

What if I am in this life to write a certain number of stories, and I won’t be allowed to advance to the next level of the game until I have done it? If I die before, I just have to do it again, until I get it right? Like Groundhog Day, but with novels.

I’d like to think that my purpose in this life is to discover as much about myself as I can, through writing. I was thinking about how I never think that actors or poets or screenwriters are doing ‘nothing’ with their lives. Or dancers, or skateboarders. I don’t deny the ‘usefulness’ of my favorite authors, whether they wrote 7 books or 70 (or 700). I don’t give Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jane Austen, or Isaac Asimov’s ghosts the side eye, as if they were a waste of oxygen.

What am I saying if I think that I am only worthwhile if I am a successful author? Am I telling myself that I must make a certain amount of money, contribute to the world in a financial way, to be considered worthwhile?

If all of life is ‘real’ life, if dreams and journeys and conversations are just as important to the fabric as work and history and raising children, then maybe I am enough.

I am enough.

Imperfect. Incomplete. Out of focus.