The goal of writers is not complete originality but to take the past and give it a shake, a fresh look that helps us see reality differently and better. Our task is not to destroy the past but to build upon the past.
And what does our tradition tell me? That I am not at the center of the universe. I am not the goal of the ultimate quest; goodness, truth, and beauty are. We aspire to these for the sake of others as well as for ourselves. Whatever encourages people to be their better selves, to be more closely connected to reality, to delight in creation—this is our noble aim in writing.
Sometimes we have to go through the bad, false, and ugly to get there, and sometimes that rotten stuff is in me. This can be a fruitful source of creative material. Sometimes we have to bring the evil of the world to light in order to defeat it. But inner darkness is not our final aspiration, even if it is authentic.
Writing is not merely an inward, self-referential exercise. It is, or should be, outward. Writing can help our therapy, but we shouldn’t expect to publish it
Set your sights higher than finding your voice. Set them on making the world a better, truer, more beautiful place
from “Write Better: A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art, and Spirituality” by Andrew T. Le Peau, InterVarsity Press