Agency is an issue I've been thinking about a great deal over the last couple of weeks. Having the power of control over our own lives is what freedom is all about; that ideal that governments are built on, and we all strive for.
The inability to control our circumstances is often our biggest form of stress. Whether it's that out-of-control feeling we get when we're stretched between too many tasks, lack of control over our own time, or that feeling of bouncing from paycheck to paycheck without getting ahead - or, much worse, not knowing where the next paycheck is coming from.
On a daily basis we're pulled between our own needs and the needs of others, with very little space for the things we want. We peer into the future, searching for some sort of guarantee of where we're headed, but, to paraphrase the New Testament, we can do nothing but "see through a glass, darkly."
But when we sit down at the laptop, or in front of a blank piece of paper, we are completely in control. We have complete agency over what stories we write, which words we use, which characters and worlds we create, and what their futures hold.
Through writing, we escape into a world where we have complete control, where no one else can dictate what we do. Isn't that incredible? (Or is it simply that I'm a control freak?)
For me, writing helped me become more aware of the things I can control, and those I can't. It's made me want more agency in my own life. It's made me want to write more.
We can't always control how much time or money we give to our writing. But we can control our commitment to writing. We can choose whether to spend that hour watching the latest reality TV show, or whether we spend it escaping into a world where we have complete agency over everything that happens.
So, starting right now, we're going to re-claim our agency over our own writing. Let's make a promise to ourselves that we will be committed not only to carving out time for our writing, but also to writing what we want to write, not what others want us to write. This is for us!