We all need to be reminded of the simple things sometimes.
Writing is a tough job. It’s an art that takes far more practice than anyone considers — especially the beginning writer.
You know it’s tough because you’ve been typing and scribbling away for a while now, and you haven’t caught any traction.
You haven’t reached your goal, or you’ve come close, but you still know there’s much more work to do.
This is just the beginning of the writer’s life.
Really — this is the writer’s life.
We all have this idea of our own personal “writer’s life.” Some of us envision sitting in a study surrounded by open books, ink spots on fresh parchment and a pair of spectacles teetering on the ends of our noses.
Some of us just want to finish that one breakout novel and send it out into the world just to say we finally did it.
Some of us just want to blog for a living.
Whatever your vision is of your writer’s life, it’s a very personal image that you hold sacred. But sometimes the motivation just isn’t there. Sometimes we lose track and put down the pen. All writers do.
You and I are both guilty of this treachery.
This is why you need to be reminded of why you’re a writer.
1. You were born to create
Not many people realize this, but all humans are innately creative.
Creating is something we’re all naturally drawn toward. Some of us acknowledge it early on, others pursue different avenues.
We were all born through the act of creation into life — the greatest of all creations. It is of this fabric that we are all woven. This is why we have the arts. Creation is why we’re compelled to express ourselves with music, dance, theatre, sculpture, painting and of course — writing.
But, I tend to think of writing a bit differently.
Writers are a special breed. Because it is through the written word that people are made to learn of worlds they never knew could exist.
Writers offer the reader a passport to another time, another reality, and into the heart of imagination, inspiration and of all life’s beautiful compliments.
You’re a writer because you were born to create.
But most importantly, you are here to share your creation with the world. And, to make the world a little better than you found it.
Remember this when you begin writing.
Remember the world you create is the act of creation itself, and it’s a world you know intimately.
So, unleash it, and breath your life into it.
2. The blank pages excite you
You’re not alone. We all do it.
We all have this little jolt of excitement when we have an idea to share and we see the blankness of the screen or the wide-open range of a new notebook.
This free, white space offers us our own personal frontier with limitless possibilities, a landscape to fill with beauty and colour.
I’ve stared at the white brilliance of an empty Word screen more times than I care to count, many times late at night and on into twilight after working all evening. Sometimes, yes, the words just don’t flow as easily but be sure, they’re always flowing.
The blank page excites the writer because it is this point where we know, deep down in the dynamic of our truest self, that we’ve been called upon to do our job.
You see a blank page and you want to fill it with words. This is your responsibility. Because, sitting there before you is the purest form of possibility in the universe — because it’s your universe.
And, in your universe — anything is possible.
So, give us something that no one would ever expect.
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you:
I am here to live out loud.”
3. You understand word magic
Words are expensive. They all carry a price.
Only writers know this.
The power of the written word is often overlooked, but look at what words can do to a person, to people — or to a country — if used on the right platform.
Words have led nations into battle, and have brought people out of bondage. Words carry strength and can weaken the hardest foundations. They have halted the executioners’ axe and softened the hearts of brutes.
Words have delivered justice and death, war and peace.
Words make you feel. The right words can heal, and hurt. And, knowing the power of words is also the writer’s responsibility.
The word “hate” bothers me, because with it comes a vibration of negativity that I prefer not to visit. Yet, I’m delighted by the word “song,” and comforted by the word, “mother.”
I’m warmed by the word “summer,” and invigorated by the mention of “spring.”
You’re a writer because you’ve chosen to master these words, to know their power and understand the pain, joy and all deep emotions they can visit upon you when unleashed.
Choose your words carefully, and know the price of your pen.
4. You want to tell the world a story
All writers are storytellers. Though, we don’t simply tell a story. We tell the world’s story. And we tell the world our story.
You reflect your experience onto the world. You mirror the culture in which you’ve found yourself. And you do so with a finesse of mastery that not many can aspire to.
Stories have been passed down throughout time, whether by oral tradition or written on clay tablets.
Consider the Epic of Gilgamesh — one of the oldest stories written and still preserved today 4000 years later has spoken to millions of people and will continue on — so long as we humans roam this vast hurdling rock.
Stories have the power to be timeless, no matter how they’re written.
What’s your story? What is your epic?
The saga you choose to share is yours, but it belongs to everyone. So make it shine brilliantly, so bright that the future can see it.
“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”
Vincent Van Gogh
5. You found a desk, and you found your own holy ground
I can vividly recall the day I was given my first desk. I was nine years old. My first impulse was to run and find as much paper as I could and a pencil.
I ran back to my new desk and began writing a story — just because I finally had a desk of my own.
Your desk is your holy place. It’s is the seat of your author’s soul, and space you occupy when you create your world and master your words.
The desk, whether a kitchen table, a corner with a lamp or an elaborate, polished slab of rosewood with brass-ringed drawers is the author’s throne. This is the place where the magic begins.
It’s upon this surface where worlds are formed, hearts are mended (or broken) and lives are changed.
It’s up to you to use your desk wisely and to use it often.
But, no matter what form your desk takes, use it.
New worlds are waiting to be formed.
Time to write on
All writers need reassurance from time to time. Our calling can be a lonely one, and it’s often one riddled with self-doubt, long hours and cramped knuckles.
We offer the world a glimpse of our experience and a glimmer of hope that the human spirit is alive through the power of words.
We deliver a story, but we also deliver hearts and minds from the doldrums of life, even if only for a moment. We offer stillness in a noise-filled world and harmony in a land of imbalance.
It’s up to you to make your writing shine. But when you have doubt, when you feel unmotivated; when you’re unsure of your direction or you curse ever beginning this lifelong journey of binding your life with the pen, just remember why you write.
Remember why it all started. Remember you were born for this life.
Because you were born to share yourself with the world.