A lot of my Monday Advice articles have been centred around the idea of regret or warning or something along those lines. Now I know it may seem silly, but I believe that it’s important to talk about those kinds of things.
However, I don’t want it to be exclusively about things like that. So, I decided to write a little article about something a bit more positive.
Sometimes it’s important to remember exactly why we still do this. Why do we chose to stay on this path that certainly holds no immediate benefits for us. Being a writer won’t make you rich right away, nor will it make many of life’s problems go away. It certainly isn’t a very stable career.
So why do we do it? Why do we stick it out and push through every day? Why do we work on it day after day despite all this?
Well, I asked myself those questions recently. Here is my answer…
Right off the bat, this is (and should be for everyone) one of my top reasons for being a writer. Writing should be fun. It should fill you up with joy when you have an idea for a story. You should giggle like a schoolgirl when the words start flowing and your prose just glows with endless possibilities.
Writing is a magical thing. Not only is it one of the hardest forms of art (in my humble opinion), but it’s one of the most creatively expansive. You have the ability to go back or forward in time, change reality, create worlds, rise up empires, destroy it all, and even bring it all back to life again. Writing makes you a god of your own world. Being able to tell a story that hooks a reader is a magical thing that should never be underestimated.
If writing isn’t fun for you, you should stop. It isn’t healthy for you to work on something like this if you have no passion for it. If writing isn’t fun, you’re doing something wrong as a writer. Make it fun, and all else will follow.
It’s My Calling
Now I’m not talking about a calling in the “It’s my destiny!” kind of way. I’m not at all fond of that expression. No, I’m talking about a deep feeling. It’s like a current of energy that runs deep within each writer; and when we write, it courses close enough to the surface to make our skin tingle. It’s a deep and almost ancient desire and passion that drives us. There’s a reason why most of us still do it despite making no money from it.
This deep and primal urge probably dates back to when humans first developed the means to communicate with one another on a level higher than “Me hungry. Me eat. Food good.”. The moment we were able to tell stories (whether it was in order to teach, to scare, to entertain, etc.) we did so without hesitation. Some of us haven’t been able to stop since. Storytelling is a time-honoured human tradition that extends across all barriers of class, race, gender, age, etc. It’s one of the few things that truly bring humans together despite their differences.
We writers are the few that carry on the torch left to us by the storytellers of the past. We do it not because we want any praise or glory (though it wouldn’t hurt *wink, wink*), but because it’s such a deep drive within each one of us, that we cannot ignore it. We write because we love it. We write because we must. I write because, in a universe with such randomness, it’s the one thing that feels like I was meant to do.
It’s One Of My Best Skills
So the last point was a little out there. I guess I should give a more solid, practical reason. Writing is a skill, like any other. While it is an art-form, no doubt about that, there can be no doubt that it’s a practical skill that can be practiced. There’s a reason why some schmuck right off the streets can’t just write the next best seller.
We writers work day and night on improving our craft. We read books on our genres. We read books that aren’t in our genres. We research our craft. We attend seminars, lectures, and workshops. We form critique groups. We practice every day. We’re constantly working on becoming better writers. Being a good writer means having the determination to push through all that in order to create something we’re proud of.
Writing is the one skill of mine that I’ve always been proud of. Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed and loved. It’s something that I’m not only good at (or so I believe anyway), but also something I constantly try to improve. It’s one of, if not the best skills I have. I’d be an absolute idiot not to take advantage of that.