Too many irons in the fire. This is a phrase I’ve heard most of my life. I started hearing it as a child. My mom’s voice has stayed with me and, now, decades later, I still hear her voice. Too many irons in the fire.I hear it when I think about my writing life.
I play with many different writing projects. I like to think of it as playing. I don’t have to be serious. Writing isn’t my livelihood. I write for fun. I write for me and for them and for you. I take risks with words. I work them for whimsy and giggles and understanding. Lately though, I’ve been haunted by the phrase from my past: Too many irons in the fire. Am I doing too much? Am I dreaming too big? Am I missing pieces of life I will later regret?
Writing makes me slow down and soak in the moments I would otherwise forget. Writing makes me appreciate this perfectly ordinary little life of mine. Writing forces me to look life in the eyes and live it for real.
I carved out some time today, made myself settle a little. In those moments of just breathing, I realized my writing life doesn’t have too many irons in the fire. There is only one. And it is this:
My story. Your story. His story and her story. They all matter. The real stories. The made up stories. The stories that shouldn’t happen. The stories from the past and the ones dreamed for the future.The stories that go beyond our wildest imaginations. The big stories and the little stories. They matter. Every last one of them. Stories matter. And I realize this is my mission. To share my story in order to change lives and to encourage others to share their stories too. As we listen and connect and laugh and cry and giggle and smirk we will understand others at their core. Our lives will change, and in turn, we just may make the world a better place. All because of story.