Writing, to me, is like building a bridge.
I’m over here on this bank, and you’re over there, somewhere off in space. There may be fog between us, or we may have been aware for each other for some time, waving across the water from shore to shore, looking forward to eventual contact.
I have specific resources, traditions, ideas, and perspectives, and you have others. By building a bridge, I’m able to share with you these resources of mine. I’m able to present what makes up ‘The Island of Colin’ to a much larger world; a whole chain of islands, each with a population of one; the inhabitants of each offering up their own collection of resources when we finally come into contact with one another.
There is a chance I’ll meet someone by accident. A metaphorical boat in a storm, washing up on shore, putting me in touch with someone new who I can influence and who can influence me. But I don’t like to depend on luck when it comes to expanding my horizons and pushing my boundaries.
Instead, I prefer to build ever up and ever out, while continuing to grow inward, as well: doing my best to figure out who I am and what I have to offer. This ensures I have something to say, that I have plenty of bridge materials, and am always growing through contact with others who are doing the same.
Update: April 13, 2017
The inward and outward point is important. For some reason we seem to gravitate toward absolutist ideologies, so we either fixate on expanding our social groups and networks and society-based career, or we meditate and otherwise internally meander. But don’t both, being self-aware but also world-aware, isn’t offered up as an option.
It should be, though. Because it is an option. And the balance it grants helps with both sides of that particular coin.