WRITING TIP: Commit to what surprises even you

“There is one path in the world that none can walk but you,” wrote Friedrich Nietzche. “Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!” This original path through life can be difficult to stay with when it challenges our sense of belonging and safety, and the same is true in our writing. Some questions to ponder: Are you writing a story or poem or argument that has already been written by your conditioned mind, already sanctioned by your social group, already accepted by your conscious, fearful mind, or are you walking the path, open to finding the true and new story, poem, or idea as you go? There is no easy answer to this question, but the awareness we might get from reflecting on it just might be the check we need to stay on our own path and reach the surprising conclusion authentic to us. As writers, this is our real gift to the world.