Wednesday, March 4, 2009

One of the Many Revisited

by Annette Lyon

Last time I talked about how there are so many aspiring writers out there and how only those few with the inner fire will make it.

As a follow-up, I feel like I need to explain my general writing philosophy.

One commenter said in part:

Everyone should be encouraged to write. It's never a waste of time--even if all they do is write little stories for their children, or blog or letters to missionaries.

I couldn't agree more. But since my two opinions seem to conflict, today I'll clarify my stance.

Writers who think it would be "neat" to publish a book most likely won't get there. That's why I say it's a waste of time to encourage and mentor these folks. They're traveling a path they don't have any intention of seeing the end of (especially when--not if--it takes major ups and down to reach that end).

What's the point of that?

That's what last week's post was about.

What I also believe is that writing as a process should always be encouraged. There is power to putting words together and expressing one's innermost thoughts and feelings.

In a very real way, writing can be a powerful form of meditation and prayer.

Writing can free the mind and heart and even act as a type of therapy, a catharsis.

Writing helps you learn what you really think and really feel about a topic, a situation, an event, or even a person.

Writing out a personal problem can help you solve it.

And writing can do much more.

I believe everyone on the planet should be this kind of writer. Everyone could benefit from the simple act of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and making something out of nothing, of putting their souls into words and expressing themselves if this amazing medium.

This need to communicate, this power of writing, I believe, is the reason behind the huge boom in blogging and the increasing number of blogs every single day. Anyone can write and have a readership. It's revolutionary.

People want to write. They want to be heard. They want to express themselves.

And they should do all of those things, whether they are one of the few with the fire of publication inside them . . . or whether they are not.

Because everyone should write. This world might be a happier place if there were more people writing things out, regardless of whether it ever gets published.


Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

A hearty amen from me, Annette. As someone who grew up with a passion for writing, and then stopped, and then started again, I can cite many personal examples of the profoundly positive effect writing has had on my life.

Well put as always!

Karlene said...

I knew we were in agreement on this. :)

Julie Wright said...

Some of the best writing I do is my letters to my kids. It's a journal of sorts that I keep for each of them. I'm not totally faithful in writing in it, but when they have major accomplishments or major down days, I write them a letter and explain the events from my point of view. When I thought I'd lost my hard drive which had five completed and unpublished manuscripts on it--it was the loss of the letters I most mourned. (I am glad to say I didn't end up losing anything and am a huge advocate of backups resources to more than just a flash drive.) Anyway, my point is I agree. All writing is to the benefit of the writer.

Jordan McCollum said...

I once heard someone put it this way: most people don't want to write a book. They want to have written a book.

As you mention here, having written a book and writing are two different things. Writing a book is hard work, but having written is easy.

Simply writing isn't the same thing as getting a book published as you've said here. But just because you don't have something published doesn't mean you should give up writing altogether.

As much as I love writing my fiction, if I could choose, the writing I think I'd like to have the greatest impact on its intended audience would be a letter to or a journal entry on one of my children.

Thanks, Annette! I've been reading you all over the blogosphere today and I love what I'm reading!