“You’re an author–do something!”



This morning, I’m standing on the shore of Lake Superior, eyes watering in the cold wind driving off the water. It’s minutes before dawn, and my two friends and I shiver in our hooded sweatshirts, wishing we had brought gloves, but transfixed by the beauty before us. The eastern horizon glows warm gold behind a low line of purple clouds. Below, the agitated waves reach skyward, tips showing translucent green in the pale light.

“It’s so beautiful…” Sarah whispers. Then she lights up in excitement. “Hey, you’re an author!” She nudges me. “Do something!!”

I stare at her. “Wait, what? I–”

“Instagram, Tweet, Facebook, whatever! You have followers–SHARE this thing!! Right now!”

“I–Okay, okay!” I whipped out my phone and took some pictures, tweeting them on the spot. We lingered another twenty minutes, watching as the sky fully brightened to day.

I’m back in the cabin now (which somehow blessedly has WiFi in the middle of the northern Michigan wilderness). My friend’s comment keeps playing in my mind. “You’re an author–do something.” There’s an assertion buried in that statement, an assertion that is both thrilling and terrifying.

Authors have influence.

Not just any kind of influence either, the kind that makes us responsible for finding the things in life worth telling about–the stories–and then magnifying them. Using our resources and connections and platforms to SHARE the best parts of being human.

My friend’s comment also implies that to not do so would be a terrible waste, a tragedy, a squandering of great measure. There was an urgency in her words: these moments are precious and fleeting. We must recognize them, capture and bind the meaning in them, then release them back to the world.

If you’re reading this blog, there’s a high likelihood you’re an author or at least in some way inclined to the literary arts. Do something today. Find the story near you worth telling–the aching cold glory of a Superior sunrise–and magnify it.


Photo credit: All photos in this post taken by me.


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