The World Needs More of You (quote on Writing by Jena Schwartz)

The World Needs More of You (quote on Writing by Jena Schwartz)

If You Want to Write, Jena Schwartz quote

“Last week on a walk, a thought came to me. It may have been prompted in part by the short poem I wrote that was inspired by a local poet’s baguette baking, about the similarities between bread and poetry. I had the thought that maybe I am a baker kind of writer. A baker doesn’t leave behind her bread. Hopefully people ate the bread. Hopefully the bread brought nourishment and perhaps pleasure. Maybe it accompanied a meal that brought people together.

But there is no big opus of bread the baker leaves after she’d gone from this world. In this same way, I don’t know if I will “leave” any significant single work or body of work; the shelves might never be lined with books I’ve written.

In a world with far more than its share of big names, fame has never been a driver for me. And the longer I’m here, the longer I keep writing and sharing with no expectation of some magical day when something different happens, the more at peace I am with leaving behind mostly writing that was consumed in the moment, then forgotten. Or maybe occasionally remembered in the way one might recall a satisfying meal. That would be more than ok with me.

A new coaching client who has been writing with me online for years asked me the other day about my brand. I wonder how my face looked on Zoom in that moment. Brand? Huh. Not so much. I told her with a laugh that at one point when Aviva was in middle school, she told me what my brand was. “Mama,” she said earnestly, “your brand is coffee, and real life, and being short.” I laughed and laughed. Is that how that worked?

If you want to write:

F*** all the nonsense about best-sellers and brands and sales funnels and platforms and all the things you should do on social media. The world does not need more brands. The world needs more of YOU.

Write like you’re baking or making a meal for someone you love.

Write like you’re making your favorite tried-and-true recipes or write like you’re experimenting and have no idea how the thing is going to turn out.

Write like everyone is so hungry and you are making an offering, like bringing a dish to a fabulous potluck filled with ordinary people who all have extraordinary stories to share, plates filled with every kind of cuisine there is.

Write like it’s simple — flour, yeast, water, maybe a pinch of sugar or salt or honey.

Don’t worry about what it will amount to or where it’s all going or how you’ll know when you get there. You won’t, because, in the famous words of Gertrude Stein, there’s no there, there. There is always only here, and now, and this.”

by Jena Schwartz

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

3 Comments

  1. LOREE A. OGAN 2 months ago

    Great analogy! Why are we always striving for the best seller and paralyzed to stay silent for fear it’s not within us?

  2. Mary Jo Beebe 2 months ago

    So encouraging for me to get busy and write in my journal again. I could relate to what Jena says about the way to write. I just want to write what is inspiring, encouraging and enlightening to me with a desire that some day others will find it so for them. I always have my close family members in mind, and I can envision their smiles when they see something about their mom they’ve never seen before. I always include the photos of people, creatures, places, and art that lift my spirits. Those images of line, form, humor and especially color, light, and wonder, are those that brought me to a space of sweetness I can’t even describe, and I want them to be there to see when I wander through the pages again–which I do from time to time.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 2 months ago

      Great! Don’t miss out on doing that!!

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