Recently I started writing a piece called “Why I Write.”
Its intention was to find the root cause of why I choose to pursue writing specifically instead of say, drawing or sculpting.
It got me thinking…
I’ve always considered myself a creative person. Since I can remember, I was pursuing art in some way, shape, or form. Whether it be through making music in my bedroom or doodling in a sketchbook, if it was creative, I defined it as “cool.”
I remember at one point in my late high-school years, I was simultaneously reading both “Moby Dick” and Stephen King’s “It.” The two books are HUGE in length but more importantly, they talk about absolutely everything. Admittedly, I never finished “Moby Dick.” I didn’t even come close. But those two books showed me something special.
They showed me that words have the power to portray any issue in the entire universe, to any reader who gives them the proper time and respect. Because of this, I can be taught lessons of duty, fate, friendship, and humility through a book written well over 150 years ago.
This showed me well that writing was and is the powerhouse of creative pursuits. Other creative mediums hide their meaning behind an artistic lenses of poetry and metaphor. Writing does this too but the intention to be so clear and concise is unmatched.
I wanted to be a part of this but was always afraid.
“I don’t have the skills.”
“I don’t have the time.”
“I don’t have anything to write about.”
The reason “It” had such an impact on me was because it tackled the subject matter of basically everything, all through the lens of a simple story.
King uses the concept of our personal fears to shed a reflection on things like homophobia, desire, expectations, friendship, love, and MUCH more.
This got me really hyped up.
You can write about pretty much anything and under the correct respect and reflection, you can bring immense amounts of value to both yourself and your reader.
The hardest part is to just start writing.
If King had set out with intentions to write an 800 page showpiece of all his thoughts and opinions on what was wrong with the world and the human psyche, he probably wouldn’t have ever figured out where to start. And when he did land on something, it probably wouldn’t have been a story about a clown.
I constantly struggle to find material to write about that I feel is “good enough” or “worth writing.” But I find myself straying away from the reason these books got me so excited. These authors wrote about EVERYTHING. They explored subject far out of their realm of comfort and weren’t constrained by any genre-esque boxes.
Writing isn’t supposed to make you feel trapped. It’s actually supposed to do the opposite.
Here’s a few tips I’ve found to help.
1.) Just start writing.
– Don’t worry about what you’re writing for or if you’ll ever publish it. Just open a blank document and start writing down what you think and eventually you’ll find what you really care about.
2.) Don’t take yourself too seriously.
– If you have some seemingly big time opinions like King did, you might feel like you have to write a story that belongs in the philosophy section of the book store…but maybe it fits better in the horror/modern fiction section.
3.) Give yourself time.
– You’re not going to find what you really want to write about right off the bat. It takes time, it takes patience, and it takes a whole lot of trial and error.