The power of should

Here’s the challenge:

Use the word “should” in a sentence.

I’ll bet that whatever came after “should”, especially if you used “I” in front of it, was something less than pleasant.

The power of should. Should can suck all of the wanna out of you.

For writing, specifically, I wonder if too much should leads to burnout. The exhaustion of strength. There’s a basic inequity in the writing equation – You owe the world the best possible book, but the world doesn’t really owe you anything. So what fills the place that powered the book back up? All I can say is there needs to be something feeding the furnace. What’s that something? It’s poetry and heart and dreams, and those things are things you bring to yourself as presents, not things the world gives you as presents.

Should isn’t a sustainable reason. Please note, if you signed a contract or something, yes, you gotta do what you said you would do. Momentary setbacks, daily upsets, these are temporary obstacles, not apocalypses, and they don’t excuse a failure to deliver the goods. My hope is that we considered the magnitude of the desire to do it before the ink hit the paper on the promise.

So write big. Write different. Tell a new story. And don’t let should box you in.

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