Fight the Power
This post was written in the past, for the future, and included a title almost guaranteed to make you click it. See what I did there?
This post is not political, religious, or really even that polarizing. Sorry to disappoint you if your mouth was getting a bit foamy already. But wait, there’s actually a point here.
Writing, in a way, is the opposite of entropy.
“But Gabe, now I have to Google entropy!” you might say. Way ahead of you.
lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
And I know what you’re thinking, some writing is such a hot mess that it passed disorder on its way to chaos long ago. But that’s not the idea I’m after here. Entropy, in a sense, can also be tied to the idea of life. Well, death actually. Because all things that live push back against the decay. All things that live grow in complexity and thrive and become more and more orderly in their complexity. So life says, “Grow, become, complicate, assemble, build, create…” and entropy says, “Break, calm down, separate, scatter, simplify…” And yes, those are rather philosophical, artsy ways of expressing what is ultimately a way of observing energies and systems. But I’m a writer, this is my blog, and you aren’t paying to be here.
My view, as I hope to share it with you today, is that by writing, we are in some small measure, holding sway against the force of entropy that pushes against us. Again, this is a very philosophical view. This is part of why I write. It might have nothing to do with why you do or do not. But my hope, in putting these words here and those words in my books, over there, is that I want to capture something. I want to arrange something in a way that grabs hold of it and then allows it to grow ever more beyond what I had no intention of it ever becoming.
What do I mean?
When I was a kid I watched Star Wars. Yes, I know I wasn’t the only one. But do you know what I didn’t do after watching Star Wars? I didn’t go outside and spend my time replaying the movie only and always as George Lucas delivered it to me. I did remember the way he delivered it, but I did not spend my time just remembering. No, I spent my time building. I took Luke (note: I say Luke because I want you to like me but I had way more fun with Vader as the protagonist in my imagination.) off into new places with new characters and things that would likely have been hilarious to George.
He planted a story in me just as was done with him as a child and so on and so forth before. Someone imagined a world and life happened. It created momentum. It created complexity. That’s what writing is and does. The stories I write might not appeal to more than a handful of folks, ever. I might never be published. But I know I have written those stories and those stories have been read by someone. The DNA goes on, even if it’s just a trickle.
That, quite frankly, is both awe inspiring and very humbling. Because no, odds are I will never be Stephen King. And that’s okay. But I might just be me. I might just inspire the next Stephen King. I might light the fire of imagination within the next George Lucas. I don’t know. But this burden, this calling… it burns.
Writing, like life itself, tends against entropy. Don’t lose sight of that and make it all about recognition, success, or God help you, money. Keep writing. Keep going.