Some people sing. Some people dance. I write.
To be fair, I also sing and dance, even though I am tone deaf and have as much rhythm as a piece of damp plywood. The point is, even though I am not at all good at singing and dancing, I still do it.
It shocks me when people say that they do not like to write. When I ask them why, most of them say that it’s because they think they aren’t very good at it.
Well I have a voice that could wake the dead, but does that stop me from singing?
The answer to this question is a resounding “no,” much to the delight of my roommates.
Writing is not about creating the next great American novel or the long lost eighth Harry Potter. Writing is about getting emotions and ideas down on paper. It doesn’t have to be good. Hell, it doesn’t have to be spelled correctly or have every period in the right place. There is no need to dot your i’s or cross your t’s. You just need to express yourself in a way that is comfortable to you. Mine is writing.
Writing produces a feeling in me that I assume is the same for professional artists. I feel absolutely invincible when I am writing. I can feel the words flowing from my imagination, down my arm, into my fingers as I write or type the words that are appearing in my head as if by magic. Sometimes what I write is a load of nonsense. The sentences blur into one another in one long, incoherent string of words that, when combined, only succeed in confusing the reader.
Writing doesn’t even have to be read. It can be for your eyes only. I know someone who, once she writes something, burns it if she doesn’t want to keep it. Simply getting the ideas down on paper is enough.
I think one of the reasons that people hate to write is because of school. In school, all we see are word counts and page numbers and formatting necessities. We do our research, write out the bare minimum, and finish it off with a works cited page to show we tried. Somewhere along the line, writing became less about the flow of ideas and more about deadlines.
Writing in it’s truest form doesn’t have word counts or have to be in 12 point Times New Roman. True writing can be on a napkin while waiting for your morning coffee or while sitting on a rock by a hiking trail. True writing happens whenever you feel the pull of words that needs to come out.
We need to get back to the point where people like to write again. In order to do that, we need to be able to write without restraint, imagine without intimidation, and create without criticizing.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”