Wednesday 17 June 2020

Why write?

Why write?

Why do people write? There are many different answers to this question, but the theme that runs through all the answers is because it gives pleasure to the writer. Not everyone will be lucky enough to earn money from their writing, and dare I say it, this is not actually as important as you might think. The personal benefits from writing are what counts, at least initially.

When you speak, your words disappear into the air, and unless someone records your speech, they may never be recalled accurately. When you write, on the other hand, you are making a permanent or semi-permanent record of your words. When you do this, you are bringing together different strands from your upbringing, education, culture and genetics. Everything you write is entirely individual to you. No-one else has ever written identical words. You are making a unique statement.

In this way you are expanding your personality into new areas of consciousness, you are putting out feelers into the complex and fascinating world of language. Every word that you learn, whether in your mother tongue or in a foreign language will enrich your vocabulary . New sounds, new meanings, connections  between languages, dialects, regional variants of speech – all these things will come together to increase your depth of knowledge and influence what you write.

And the best part of all this? You only need a pen and a notebook to get started. What a great excuse to go out and buy some lovely new stationery.

But there is more.

There are subtle changes that will begin to happen when you start writing.
First of all, you will start to become more observant. You will notice birdsong, conversations in a café, the colours of the sky, the words of songs. Things around you will start to prompt you into writing. You will wake up in the morning with your brain buzzing with ideas. You will get more in touch with your own world.

Secondly, you will start to read things differently. You will become aware of the plot and the way the characters are described in a novel that you are reading. You will start to be able to critically analyse others writings.

And finally, you will begin to learn things about yourself and new coping strategies. Stories from your childhood will reappear in technicolour detail, conversations you thought you had forgotten burst back into your memory . You will be able to immerse yourself into fantasy when real life becomes a bit too serious. Colourful characters will march across your consciousness. You can legitimately peer into their lives, move them about puppet like into imagined situations, and all from the comfort of your very own arm chair.

Next time I will talk about how you can incorporate writing into your life, even if you have never attempted to put pen to paper since you left school or college.

#creativewriting  #startwriting  #becreative