There’s something we humans all share, even in our huge diversity: we need to have a place that makes us feel at home.
It doesn’t have to be a physical place. Maybe it’s just an idea, a concept. A tiny personal ritual. A person, or a pet. A song, or a photograph.
But we all have it. Think about it. What’s yours?
I myself have a few, big and small. Among the ones that would look insignificant there are some habits. Maybe it’s just because I like to inject order in the total chaos that is life. An illusion, I know.
One big feel-at-home thing for me is writing. It’s just me and the page – well, the screen. I love writing for others, with a group of readers in mind. It helps me focus on the style and the story.
But even better is writing for one specific reader. That’s the top, and I really find home there. Maybe that specific reader won’t ever read what I write, but it’s something special and intimate that makes me a better person, a bit less adrift, a little more happy.
And the point is exactly this: jotting down words is something that helps me find the route for the nearest harbor, and from there to home. Making stories up might seem silly, but it’s not. It’s very serious. After all, most of what we read in fiction is just real life with a fresh coat of paint on it. We find a lot of the authors’ own personality in the characters, and many of their real-world experiences.
Just like how we dream to consolidate memories (and often cope with them), I write to put order in what happens around me.
And feel at home.