Always write about Dublin

Image: Usamah Khan

I often find myself stumped looking for a ‘big idea’ to write about. Like, what’s a nice, big, beefy concept that a lot of readers might resonate with? Hmmmm???

Having a publication called Higher Thoughts has only added to the pressure (because it can’t be a lower thought or even a medium thought, can it?).

Was it Jerry Springer? — No, I think it was James Joyce who said…

“For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.”

So good, James... So good.

But how many times have you gone to write about your own experience before being stopped in your tracks by a thought that went something like this… There’s no WAY they’ll be able to relate to THAT.

Joyce probably thought the same thing about Dublin before he went and did it (and people from all over the world and for many generations since — the majority of which have never been to Dublin — now thank him for it).

This makes me want to think smaller instead of bigger. It makes me want to zoom in and sit nice n’ comfy within my own experience. Because if I can do this really well — if I can become a master of sharing the particular in my life — it’ll connect with the universal in you.

I’m starting to see that this is where great storytelling comes from. Not from some big, epic premise (although those tend to sell out theaters pretty good), but in speaking from my own experience. From not worrying about what ‘they’ want to hear/read/see/etc. and instead being concerned with only the stories that are from our own souls.

There’s no need to run around trying to ring everyone else’s tuning fork. The only one we must strike is the one within us.

Dublin, friends. Stay in Dublin.

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