Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

How I Write with Authority

It seems that I write about things with a lot of authority, like I know what I’m talking about, like I’m confident. In truth, I am not confident at all. In truth, I am one of the most unconfident people I have ever met. The way that I write with confidence is to simply write, and to somehow stop second-guessing myself.

“That’s bullshit!” I hear my inner voice cry. “Of course it is. ” I respond. “I can’t know that,” I tell myself. “Of course I can’t,” I respond. Then I just continue writing. The proof is in the writing. The proof is in the living. The proof is in the fact that all-there-is-and-is-not keeps showing up continually. For you, for me, as you, and as me.

The process that seems to be happening is one of simply writing what is true. I write what is true to the best of my ability. It’s as if I keep getting out of the way and letting what is true be written, rather than writing as a separate self trying to prove something. But all of that is just a story about a “me.”

To continue the story: this is why, even though I have a long list of article ideas, I always end up writing about whatever is most alive in me. What is true is also what is alive. What is present is also what is true. What is here, right now, is all there is.

On the edge of being and not being is creativity. What comes into being pops over the threshold from not being into being, instantaneously and spontaneously.

When I write, I seem to be riding this edge of being-and-not-being. This machine with eyes and hands seems to be shepherding what is being created into this computer. Yes, perhaps the words are flavored by my personality, but hopefully their meaning is not totally corrupted.

And yet, this body and mind and hands are also essentially emptiness, and the words are appearing under the keystrokes instantaneously. It’s not true that they are flowing through me. There is nothing to flow through. For you, now, these words are appearing in front of your eyes out of nothing. I was never a part of that process, and neither was the Internet. There is no process. There is only that infinitely fine edge of being-and-not-being.

All of these apparently disparaging messages seem to come from inside and outside: “Stop writing,” “you’re not qualified,” “you don’t know,” “you’re deluded,” “you’re arrogant,” “you’re full of shit.” But none of these are true beyond being concepts. How can concepts compete with this torrential flow.

It’s not necessary to say, “fuck off!”

The river doesn’t say “fuck off” to the boulders.

It’s not necessary to say, “go away!”

The wind doesn’t say “go away” to the trees.

There is simply the whitewater and the rapids and the whistling in the branches and the swaying trunks and the trees and the boulders and the breeze and the flow.