Breaking Through the Orange Peel (My Writing Manifesto)

I’ve been doing ‘life’ for about six decades now. You would think with that much time under my belt I’d have it pretty much figured out by now – but I don’t.

In many ways, I feel like life is like an orange that I’ve been playing with. I found it fascinating, but felt I didn’t have full access. From others I gathered that there was more than this round orange ball, but I wasn’t sure how to find it, how to access it.

After many decades of careful handling, this soft orange ball had a piece of its thick skin gouged out. I was horrified! My perfectly wonderful orange had been damaged!

As I began to examine the injury to my orange, I noticed something unusual. With the breaking of thick protective skin, a rush of fragrance had been released. The fragrance had always been there, but with the breakage it seems to explode into the air. The sweet freshness of citrus oils invaded my nostrils. Instead of seeking to heal the wound, I wanted to make the opening bigger

Underneath the skin of the orange was something new. It was tender and translucent. Piercing the surface released fluid in squirts and undirected flows and drips. The life inside was not easy to control, but it was full of flavor. It made me desire more.

Sharing the Discovery

When I discover something new and wonderful, my first impulse is to share it – to tell someone. Actually, not just someone, but as many people as possible. I don’t want anyone to miss out.

“There’s something more underneath the skin of the orange!” I want to shout. “It’s sweet and juicy. It’s exciting!”

Of course, with the squirting and dripping, these new aspects of life are also messy. The citric acid can sting your eyes and dry your skin. You have to learn how to handle it, but you can’t totally control it.

As I share my discoveries, I find that not everyone gets as excited about them as I do. They don’t want the mess that comes with the inner flesh of the orange. They prefer to keep life safely contained in the orange ball, with as little juice leaking out as possible. But as I share, I find others who are as delighted at these inner discoveries as I am. We share our discoveries and growing understanding with one another. Through our sharing we develop bonds of connection and community.

Growing in Connection

My writing is all about this process of discovery, sharing and connection. Some of my discoveries and sharing will have to do with living the life of a freelance writer, earning a living from your art. Understanding of the inner-self, getting to know who I am and who you are in a vulnerable way is my way of digging into the juicy part of life. It can be a bit messy at times, but the flavor it adds to our existence is worth it.

As I share my discoveries about life’s many dimensions, my hope is that my ponderings and thoughts will connect with some of you.

On the homepage of my website I have a quote by C.S. Lewis that sums up my hope for connection.

“Friendship is born when you say to another, “What, you too? I thought I was the only one!”

There is nothing I like to hear more than ‘Me too!’ It means I’ve just discovered another special friend.


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