On Writing: Writing Peace (among other things)

"Writing peace - for a writer, at least - is the first step to making peace exist in reality." ~Tonia P.

Since first recording thoughts via charcoal on cave wall, men have sought broader channels of artistic communication and distribution. The cave wall, after all, could only be seen by those willing to brave the pitch black, and charcoal is a fickle medium. Mankind adapted, created paper, pen, the typewriter, the laptop. We expanded our modes of distribution, too--the scribes, the printing press, the publishing house, the blogosphere.

Here we stand, in the age of easy words where, with only a few clicks of the mouse, anyone can become a "writer." And as writers do, we fill the web with our short stories, poems, and comments on the issue du jour. But in this information age, I wonder about the weight of our words; I wonder about their value. Do we, by the sheer volume of our speech (blogs, Twitter, Facebook), somehow neuter the very expression we value most? Are we producing too many words of too little value?

Last night I received an email from a friend who's been reserved in her words. She's held back, taken to the quiet work of living life. This week, she broke her spell of silence and shared some beautiful writing. I emailed her, told her that I had found peace in her words. She responded.

"Writing peace - for a writer, at least - is the first step to making peace exist in reality."

It is a beautiful way to approach writing, to view it as a causative expression, a medium that can change realities. Want peace? Write peace, my friend says. She might say it on a whole host of topics, really.

Want beauty? Write beauty.

Want service? Write service.

Want what is lovely? Write what is lovely.

There is something simple and inspiring about her view of writing. It's not about building platforms, marketing, or lending your voice to the countless others in these online spaces. It's not about word counts or pages typed. It's not about blurting out every thought on every hot topic. Instead, writing is about metamorphosis, about bending yourself around better hopes through an artistic expression. It is about valuing words as agents of change (whether physical, emotional, or spiritual), and if we write from that understanding, perhaps we'll find substance in our language and expression.

Today I'd like to celebrate those who carefully craft words. Do you read anyone who gives words their proper weight? Share your favorites in the comments below (and if they're online writers, drop us some links).