Monday, June 29, 2015

Writing is...

I used to think it was very strange to see how often writers were writing about writing, and what writing 'is.'

"Isn't it obvious?" I thought in ignorance. "If you chose to write, you must know."

I know now that it's not that easy. I truly believe everyone is capable of writing, but not every one is capable of calling themselves a writer. Although I have been writing since I learned how to hold a pen, I don't know if I would call myself a writer just yet. While most writers often have a set schedule for writing, I am often guilty of being a sporadic writer, which makes me a waiter.

It's not so much that I wait to stumble upon inspiration. Everything inspires me. If I wrote like that, I would never leave my computer. It's more that I wait until it isn't so painful for me to put what I really want to write about in ink. Which is the worst thing you can possibly do, because you lose a little bit. Sure, I can easily write about something else, but let's be real, how many writers sit down and write when they're happy about something.

I hear a lot of people say what I write is too personal, too deep, things along those lines. Since I started writing, I have always been honest. That raw emotion is something that will always be in my writing. I don't care who likes it, or what anybody has to say about it, because what I say will always be the truth.

My number one rule for writing is to never look back. Once I have written what I wanted needed to, I never go back and edit. Often, I don't even re-read it. I have had instances where I wrote about something that really hurt me, and rereading it sent me into a depression. I didn't write for a year after that. I don't reread anymore. I want to move forward. To go back and edit would be a disservice to the moment. If you edit, you alter your state of being in the moment you sat down to write that piece. The words you wrote was everything you were thinking and feeling in that moment. No one was in your head. It was you alone with your thoughts and your emotions. That's where the raw honesty comes from. It's not something that can be toyed with. If you try to fake it, people will catch on right away. You can't feign honesty. That makes you a bullshitter.

Anybody can write. You can sit down and recap your day, write about how much you love your boyfriend, or how much your mom's rules suck, anything. It takes a special kind of person to be a writer. Writing provides a confidence that no other medium can provide. Your voice is uniquely yours, and no one can take that away from you. You have a voice, why wouldn't you want to be heard?

Being a writer is extremely painful sometimes. Putting your most painful experiences in ink is draining. To do that everyday of your life is to bleed. I have never had an open wound that felt so good.

Although it may hurt sometimes, not writing hurts a lot worse than it does to let it out. Think of it this way: if I don't write, the emotions, the thoughts, and the hurt is trapped inside of me. I feel heavy, weighed down. Once it's out, I have confronted any lingering demons that I needed to address, and I can move forward in a healthy way. Liberation. 

Writers are often quiet. It's not because we're weird (well, sometimes), but I think it's more because we're all sponges. We are constantly observing and listening to what is happening around us. Writers are quiet, because we spend a lot of time trying to make sense of a world that does not and might not ever make sense. I like to say writers have a heightened sense of emotion and feeling. We feel everything on a deeper level than ordinary people do. It's not a bad thing, but not everyone can do it. It's hard. Your brain never sleeps. If your emotions have not already gotten the best for you, you feel for other people, too.

Writing sucks (sometimes). It's impatient, painful, challenging. But, it's also liberating, fearless, and beautiful. To me, it's hand-in-hand with breathing: a way to sort through all the noise in the world, and focus on what makes sense, or what no longer does. Writing sucks sometimes, but it is the greatest and most challenging thing you can ever do. Writing sucks sometimes, but I will never put down my pen.