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Let the chips fall where they will…

My entire adult life has been spent writing personal essays. I fact, whenever I write anything else—a song, a poem, or a story—I can trace its birth to some essay I have previously written. Personal essays are how I figure out who I am and what I live for and what I aspire to be or become. In short, my essays are me. I write from my head and heart using as many time-tested tips, tricks, and techniques of the writers craft to say what I want to say as clearly and powerfully as I possibly can.

I want and need you to do the same. You are a perfect and poignant person, and your voice is as valid and real as any other voice in the universe, so everything you don’t write or try to say is deducted from the potential beauty of the universe. You don’t feel, think or believe any less than me or any other person. What you might not believe or realize is that essay writing, aside from getting a good grade or getting into some ritzy school, is all that important.

All I can do is give you the tools to build an essay. You, however, are the materials you use to build the essay, but I can’t make you swing the hammer, cut the boards and build the house of your dreams. That is up to you. If you are not willing, then you are resigned to mediocrity. This class is useless to you.

But if you are willing; if you blow the sparks of your life into flame, then the fire of possibility will be lit and your life will shine like a beacon in the night. You will inspire, comfort and console the lives lucky enough to read and hear your words.

The four main pillars of this class are Read. Write. Create. Share. The first three are the hardest because they require real work, effort, and often drudgery in the midst of your taxing and often stressful life. But to share… To share is as simple and hard as finding the courage to press a button and release your words to a wider world and “let the chips fall where they will.”

In the simple song of Guy Clark, he is not implying he merely wants to build a boat—he is “tired of the same old same;” he is tired of the “same old songs with the same old lines/ the same old words with the same old lines.” Clark wants his words to take him to new places in a brave and enduring way. It is time for all of us—and yes, me too—to “sail into a brand new day.”