Step 12: Service
For those in recovery programs, practicing Step 12 is simply “how it works.”
I’ve always wanted to change the world, but I couldn’t figure out how until I began to write. I believed each and everything I wrote would somehow find its way into popularity and create epic change. I believed that under the rock from which I wrote, my work would be discovered and used as a measure of greatness, or my work would earn the validation and recognition I desired and I would finally be a ‘working professional writer’. I used to wake up each morning with an insatiable desire to write, and while that can be perceived as a good thing, it was the opposite because I didn’t truly consider myself a professional writer. I thought of myself as a ‘starving artist’. But ironically the truth is I was both. The craft of transposing my thoughts and ideas into text literally consumed me so much so that I would have sold my soul to be a ‘professional’ writer, but because souls aren’t something that can be sold, I gave away my humility instead. The cost to be a high paid professional writer was steep, and I didn’t even know I paid until it was too late.
Through the past 12 steps I’ve come to a lot of insight and realizations not only about the craft of writing, but also about what kind of writer I want to be, and about who I am. The journey was difficult, as with most inward journey’s, but it was also very inspirational. I’ve been able to attain more balance not only with regard to the craft of writing, but also within myself, which is where it all begins. Truthfully, along this ‘adapted journey’ I didn’t give the ‘spiritual awakening’ moment much thought, but having had one as a result of these steps, I’ve realized the creator’s unspoken challenge and value of creating things that are in service to oneself, and to others. I’ve also shifted to a healthier perspective on writing to that of a child-like nature: children are born with pure imagination and a profound desire to create and explore the world around them. Unknowingly this is the overwhelming feeling I got from the craft of writing– It makes sense I would want to over indulge in it.
Recognizing this feeling has helped me to spread it into other areas of my life. I’m not just a writer, I am a creator. However, as a creator I realized that I can’t change the world. I can only change my perception of it, just like any of the greatest creators of our world. And only through that insight can I change my world. We are all creators who must recognize this fact, and be in the child-like state, living with imagination and a profound desire to create or write, but above all be in service.