I first saw the phrase: “Go Towards The Love” written on a small scrap of paper on John Lee‘s mirror in his counseling office bathroom many years ago. I liked it for its simplicty. It reminded me of the genetic code written in plants to go toward the sunlight.
Of course, we aren’t plants so we need reminders like Go Towards The Love written on our bathroom mirrors because, we humans love to struggle. It makes us feel alive and purposeful until one day, we realize, “Oh wait minute, this ‘love to struggle’ ethic is painful and draining and…” That’s when the bad marriage ends. The sucky job gets quit. The move to Hawaii is made. We just realize that struggling isn’t the way to live.
So I had one of those moments with my column in Good Life this month. I had actually written the story about eating local for another magazine but when that magazine wanted me to cut the story in half and take out my personal experience, I decided not to shrivel and conform. I would have done it years, even months, ago. But this time I decided no, the voice of the piece is my personal experience and it is valid, so no, I won’t try to create a reporter’s voice to make the piece acceptable or authoritative. Nope. Not this time.
Don’t get me wrong. I think a story or column can always be made better with more quotes and statistics. Besides, they’re kind of fun to research. But I had to look at the voice of the piece and the truth is I like writing from my perspective. And I think that many people like reading stories that are about human trials and tribulations of eating locally. But this magazine wanted something different, a little but more industry driven (yes, even eating local is industry driven), a little bit more from the viewpoint of: we know more than you. That’s okay. That’s them. Not me.
And so I reworked the piece into a column, added about 300 words, found a great new ending and received high praises from my editor at Good Life. I placed the piece where I knew it was valued and it became a better story.
Go Towards The Love. Because when you do, good things happen.