Doris-Lessing_Telegraph-UK“You should write, first of all, to please yourself. You shouldn’t care a damn about anybody else at all. But writing can’t be a way of life – the important part of writing is living. You have to live in such a way that your writing emerges from it.”

~ Doris Lessing, who, at age 89, won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Among other things.

And on what people really want? Lessing wrote:

“Everybody in the world is thinking: I wish there was just one other person I could really talk to, who could really understand me, who’d be kind to me. That’s what people really want, if they’re telling the truth.”(The Golden Notebook)

In their tribute to Lessing after her death, The New Yorker magazine wrote,

“The uncompromising and unapologetic way in which she conducted both her private life and her writing life should speak for itself.”

You don’t have to be a writer to approach your life as a great experiment and adventure — a rich and magnificent research project (or a story that ‘has it all’).

Leonora of Mantua, c. 1873, by Valentine Cameron Prinsep.
Leonora of Mantua, c. 1873, by Valentine Cameron Prinsep.

Consider the possibility of seeing your life in such a way that great stories might emerge from even the most seemingly mundane everyday experiences.

(Some of my most amazing, inspiring encounters happened while out on one of my many walks; or while on the bus or subway; or on my hands and knees, favorite old pair of Levi’s denims now torn, having slipped on a piece of rotting lettuce along San Francisco’s Clement Street. Yes, that left a mark.)

And how amazing is it that your presence, your true listening, your kindness to someone else (be they human, animal, plant, or mineral!) might be just that great a gift?

Big Love,