I wanted to give a brief (but wondrous) writing update, since I haven’t in awhile. This month has been crazy busy for me, and one of my best friends got married over Easter weekend, another friend was proposed to over Easter weekend, my sister recently became engaged and is now planning her wedding, and I’m heading off to a dual bachelorette party next weekend for two more friends who are getting married this spring. Love definitely seems to be in the air in 2014 for the people I know, which made me think about how grateful I am to do what I love every day. So for today’s post, I wanted to share 5 Reasons I Love Writing.
5. Writing is my therapist.
I’m pretty sure if I didn’t write, I’d talk to myself a lot more. As it is, I have conversations with my dog already, so let’s just leave it at that. But ever since I began journaling in fourth grade, (yes, I still have those journals and they are BRILLIANT) writing has allowed me to work through the ideas, thoughts, and dialogue tumbling on permanent press in my brain. There’s a quote I remember from Leo Rosten that stuck with me: “The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it.” I love writing because it helps me organize my thoughts and allows me to work through the ideas I generate daily.
4. Writing helps me express myself.
Sometimes my friends tease me because I, especially when excited about an idea, tumble over my words. “Aren’t you a writer?” they say as I fumble over that expression that would be perfect to explain what I’m thinking. But that’s exactly it, I want to tell them. I am a writer. Give me 2 minutes, a pen, and a pad of paper and I’ll write down exactly what I’m trying to verbalize. That’s what I love about writing: it allows me to express myself comfortably by giving me the time (and the ability to revise!) to reflect, and think through what I want to say.
3. Writing makes me love books that much more.
I love reading and can devour a book in one sitting or read multiple stories together, sampling each one to experience different flavors and tones. Being a writer helps me appreciate other writing more – I often pause and marvel at the beauty, complexity, or subtle simplicity of a sentence, or give props to a writer’s clever use of a certain word. I often note sentence length and variation, and find myself reading aloud when I feel a phrase has a beauty in its rhythm. I mark books up (which is one reason I do enjoy an e-book reader) with highlights on passages that ring true to me, words I want to look up later, or ideas I want to research further. And sometimes I just read, immersing myself in a story; but knowing that my love of that story also derives from my love and appreciation of writing.
2. Writing makes me money!
Yes, it’s true – as I recently told some bright-eyed, eager undergraduates at a writer’s panel, writing can actually make you money – but maybe not in the way you imagine. My path to becoming a professional writer has been told before: I always wanted to be a writer, and at some point, someone (perhaps my parents, perhaps a well-meaning English teacher) gently told me that writing might not be a lucrative career path; that perhaps I should consider it more a hobby. Well, I’m not the best at taking advice and plunged forward stubbornly. But lo and behold, I have been able to write as my profession, and I love what I do. I’m also grateful that writing can be what makes me money. Maybe not as much money as say, becoming a brain surgeon, but (1) I do okay and (2) it’s really in everyone’s best interest to not have me be around brains or scalpels, especially together.
1. Writing helps me dream.
I love writing because it not only helps me (and has helped me throughout my life) set goals for myself and dream big. Yes, I still want to publish my novel, and I love the feeling when a piece of mine goes to print. But I also love how the writers I know are also dreamers. We have big ideas and envision bright futures for ourselves and those we care about. While we also experience those crushing moments (or months) of self-doubt and fear, we more often than not rebound and decide to push forward, to pick ourselves up from lying facedown in the dirt after receiving that last rejection letter, dusting ourselves off, and resubmitting our piece… a piece of ourselves… out again to complete strangers, asking them to judge us and it. I love my writer friends for their bravery, honesty, and for being like me: a dreamer and someone who is never done.
What do you love about writing? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!