Welcome to How to Keep Writing Wednesdays, where you'll find a boost of encouragement to help you keep the words flowing.

Links and Connections

Discovering the links between ourselves and those around us is one of the most enriching aspects of life. We build our lives on the foundation of these relationships. Books and movies are also built from connections: new links, broken links, links in the process of being formed.

Have you ever heard the term, “six degrees of separation?” It morphed into a popular parlor game, the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, in which you try to link any Hollywood actor or actress to Kevin Bacon in six degrees or less. The real challenge isn’t in making the connection within six steps, but in discovering the shortest path between the two.

Whether you live in a small town or a bustling city, we are more connected to each other than we realize. Sometimes it’s criss-crossed family histories, where we find we’re related to someone who’s been our neighbor all these years. Or that a person interviewing you for a job used to live in San Diego in your old apartment.

I know you’ve experienced these so-called coincidences. It changes the way we look at ourselves and others, and thank goodness for that. I know I sometimes get stuck in my own view of how things are or should be, but then a link reveals itself and my whole world changes. 

Writing is the best way I know to activate these undiscovered links. Whether you’re journaling, writing a poem or novel, researching an article, or crafting a blog post, you’re creating the space for a link to reveal itself. Because they exist all the time, and for everyone, the only shame is when we miss them. Writing helps us pay attention, helps us sift through the evidence. It makes sure that important links don’t slip by unrecognized.