This post was inspired by a Valentine’s Day writing competition that asked interested writers to share the story of how they fell in love with writing. I didn’t enter, because I wasn’t sure what made me choose this path, and what keeps me so determined to pursue writing as a career. I think I’ve figured it out now, so I thought I’d share.
I think that writing—all forms of creative self-expression, really— comes from an instinctual drive to connect with people by sharing a piece of yourself. Writing is a way to pin your emotions and mistakes down with words and try to make something meaningful from them. It’s a way to turn the chaos of the world into something beautiful, that can be understood and appreciated by other people.
Writing—true writing—comes from a yearning for connection and understanding. Writing becomes art when the underlying truth in a piece is recognised, and that connection is made between author and reader. It’s the reason no one can erase their ‘voice’ from their writing; the reason your experiences and worldview will (and should) always shine through in your characters and your work; the reason literary analysis always considers the author’s background and culture; and the reason that writing well is both hard and rewarding. When you share your writing with other people, you’re hoping that when they see the flaws, strengths, scars and truths that make you who you are, and that they relate, instead of just turning aside.
I love reading. Books have always been both my preferred form of entertainment, and the way I understand the world and my place in it. Writing, when it followed, was a natural way to record what I learned, and share it if I so chose. Being able to contribute to the artform and the body of works that I used to become the person I am today is an amazing feeling, that I hope to never give up. Writing is a way to influence the world and create a legacy that I’d be proud to leave behind.
It might sound dramatic, but I think my desire to write comes from the desire to contribute something to the world that drives a lot of people to have a child. With writing, I aim to make the world a better place by becoming the person, and creating the things, I once depended on for survival. The characters and worlds in the books I read as a child helped me to decide what I valued, and what I would and would not sacrifice to achieve my aims.
I know I’m not the only one that turned to books to find myself, and I doubt I’m the only person that writes to one day be the person providing comfort and inspiration to anyone seeking that in my writing. I want to create the next wave of content that will help people understand (to whatever small extent) the world and their place in it.