Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Keep On Writing!

Sharpen up those quills
and get writing!
It can be hard to write when the world is pulling you in so many directions.  Many people feel their writing just isn't important in the larger scheme of things.  Especially for people who write fiction, their writing may seem so trivial to them, so much like it has no authentic connection to the outside.  And writing can be such a solitary endeavor, anyway, it can be difficult to see how it contributes to making a better world in the long run. 

"Write like it matters and it will." - Libba Bray
"If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write." - Martin Luther
"If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood." - Peter Handke

I've been struggling with some of these thoughts myself.  After all, most of my writing will probably never get published, and will never garner a big audience if it does.  And really, what good is my beloved sci-fi novel in the face of all the ills of the world?  What good are my little horror poems, flung out into the cosmos like darts at a dragon?  Even that essay I wrote about grad school, the one that I thought was oh, so crafty and writerly, what has it changed? 

"Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises." - Anne Lamott
 "Don't judge it.  Just write it.  Don't judge it.  It's not for you to judge it." - Philip Roth
"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
- Cyril Connolly

Well, it's changed me, for one.  Like now, when the world seems so very chaotic, I write and I find a place of focus and determination.  When I was my most depressed, I started my sci-fi series that means so much to me.  It may never get published, but it is a lifeline for me even (especially) now.  And even in the context of genre, I find myself writing about what matters to me - the nature of relationships, sacrifice, love, abuse, war, understanding, and more.  Not trivial issues by any means, as it turns out.

"I write for the same reason I breathe." - Isaac Asimov
"I admire anyone who has the guts to write anything at all." -  EB White
"Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now." - Earnest Hemingway

I want to encourage everyone to write, in whatever way works for them.  Get out those empty journals sitting on the shelf and start filling them up with quotes or whatever moves you.  Blog about your progress on your memoir, and then go write some more of that memoir.  Jot your poems down while commuting or drinking the morning's caffeinated beverage.  Scribble song lyrics in the margins of your class notes.  Fill your lunch breaks with introspective essays.  And if you are like me, huddle up with your computer in bed and pound out that fiction novel that you are just, oh, so close to finishing.  It may change more than you think.  There is no way to know - but certainly if we write nothing, then nothing will be the change we get.

Image Credit:  Sharpening Quill Pen.  Wikimedia Commons.  CC 4.0

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