3 min read

The fire of conflict.

Conflict is what forces something to change, and change is what storytelling, or life, is all about. Like it or not, you need conflict.
The fire of conflict.

An important aspect of the fire element is conflict. Many people shy away from conflict, and you can go a long way to find your voice without having to work with conflict. The other elements carry you just fine most of the time.

However, you need a conflict to drive a story forward. There is no other option. Conflict is what forces something to change, and change is what storytelling is all about. You cannot have a story without something or someone changing.

Concentrated life

That's why we depend on storytelling to evolve as a species. Stories accelerate our development as humans because we are confronted with some sort of conflict and its resolution. We are able to learn from that.

We couldn't possibly absorb all those experiences ourselves in real life, but through stories, we can. They are tiny, concentrated portions of life, and by absorbing them, the very essence of life is passed on to us without having to go through it ourselves.

Fire transforms

So, like it or not, you need a conflict to tell a story. It's the main driver of it, and it belongs to the fire element, of course.

Fire is the only element capable of transforming the other elements, and therefore fire is the natural driver for evolution. Wherever there is fire, there is a conflict. When something burns, it changes, and change itself is a conflict.

It's the reason why so many people don't like change because it involves a conflict of some sort, and very few people thrive in a conflict. Nonetheless, it's the only thing that can drive life forward, so you must have a relationship with conflict. Hopefully a healthy one.

Writing facilitates change

To make sure that's the case, you can use the following exercise. It can be transferred to any kind of writing you do – as well as to your own life.

As mentioned several times before, the only thing you have to do to make Five Element Writing function as personal development is to write about your own life. The moment you do, your life becomes a story, and your writing facilitates change in your life as a result of that.

It's not a requirement to do so. It's an option. Five Element Writing works regardless of what you write about. Whatever you point your pen at changes. It's inevitable. That's why writing is so powerful when you know what you are doing.

Anyway, back to the exercise. It goes like this:

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