“Writers are specialized cells in the social organism. They are evolutionary cells. Mankind is trying to become something else; it’s experimenting with new ideas all the time. And writers are a means of introducing new ideas into the society, and also a means of responding symbolically to life. I don’t think we’re in control of what we do.” Kurt Vonnegut
All of us spend some time in our development writing out of necessity. We’ve gone to school, written book reports, essays, and research papers. Homework was assigned to us and we complied out of an obligation to finish the work required to pass the class.
For some, those fundamental exercises begin a love affair with words. Communicating our ideas via the written word becomes almost compulsive. We journal, we blog, we take a stab at fiction or poetry. We do this because we love words and we love communicating our ideas through those words.
There will be many voices, and at times your own may be the loudest, that will tell you writing is a “nice hobby.” But for those of us that write even if no one else is reading our words, it’s more than a hobby. It’s a way to capture the ideas floating in our heads that we simply have to let out. It’s a means to lighten the load of wanting to express how we see the world. We write because we have to.
The best path to becoming a writer is to write. Write every day. Write even if you have no intention of letting anyone else read what you’ve created. You will likely write far more than will be read by anyone else and that is as it should be.
The compulsion you feel to gather your thoughts into sentences and paragraphs and narratives shouldn’t be ignored. In a piece for The Creative Mind titled “Living with a Racing Creative Mind,” psychologist and writer Douglas Eby notes that Stephen King published five books in 1988. He writes, “King has always seemed less like a workaholic than someone for whom writing is simply fun.”
Like any artist, there is a passion within those who are born to write that must be expressed. Listen to that inner voice. Write with abandon. Hone your craft. Never give up.