People get into writing for various reason: some are forced into it, some do it on a casual basis because, “well it’s useful,” and some have a driving passion that if they don’t do it they will go crazy. Though many people wouldn’t know it by looking at me, my friends would certainly agree that I tend to fall into the latter category. Like so many writer, writing and storytelling has been part of my life since I was very young.
I have an extremely active imagination and have been making up stories since… Well since I could do it. I can’t really give an age because from what I’ve been told by my family my playtime always involved either going on adventures myself or pretending that my toys went on adventures. I was so jealous and envious of Toy Story because THAT is what it was always like for me and my sister to play as children.
I was in the seventh grade when I realized that I should probably write down the stories that I come up with instead of just letting them float way into the ethers after it was thought up. And over the years I’ve gotten a lot of pleasure from my writing, even though most people never even see it.
Today I decided it would be kind of fun to share with you “13 Reasons Why I Love Writing.” My reasons are in no particular order for each has it’s own merit and serves a different fulfilling purpose in my life.
Here we go…
One of the reasons I first got into writing was to have a safe outlet for expressing my emotions. Writing is one of my biggest emotional outlets, whether that’s through journaling or by creating a scene that give me a way to express the emotions I’m feeling at the moment. On the page I’m allowed to cry, laugh, be angry, fight a valiant fight, or feel the fulfillment of a beautiful sunset. I feel the tension or ecstasy or whatever other emotion that is being expressed in the scenes that I’m writing. It’s a safe place for me to feel my own emotions and the emotions of others.
Writing allows me to live vicariously though my characters. I could never live in many of the worlds or situations that I create. I couldn’t live through half of the things that I make my characters live through, but I can through my imagination. Through writing I can be a better person or experiment with the darker side of life without experiencing the direct consequences of ruining my life.
Enjoying Imaginary Friends
As a storyteller, I’m allowed to make up people in my head and talk to them. As long as I don’t talk to them out loud, no one will think I’m crazy. But when I write about my characters and converse with them on paper, this is the socially acceptable way of having an imaginary friend. When I write about my characters they become real people, I get to know them intimately, and I’m allowed to have fun with them.
Torture is Accepted and Expected
Storytelling is the only socially acceptable form of torture, it’s actually kind of expected. You are expected to torture the characters you write about and you’re expected to torture your reader to a reasonable extent. You can torture your characters in all kinds of ways that range from physical harm to emotional harm to constant denial of having your cake and eating it too. Basically giving your characters what they want but at the same time giving them something to regret about getting what they want.
In the process of torturing your character, you torture your reader. The reader loves you and curses you at the same time as they go through the character’s struggles. Our torture as readers is part of the suspense of wanting.
Keep Drama in Stories Not in Real Life
It’s so much nicer to have drama in my stories instead of my life. I am not a drama person at all, which frustrates me sometimes because my husband unconsciously enjoys it. I’m helping him realize this fact so that he can move away from unnecessary drama. Drama is stressful and too much will eventually kill you (if not physically, emotionally).
Writing is a great way to channel any overly dramatic energy so it doesn’t have to always leak into my life. My characters are supposed to experience drama, that’s part of what makes a good story: struggle and drama. Now if only I could convince my husband that writing can do the same for him. Hmm…
Exploring New Worlds
As a writer I get to “explore strange new worlds and new civilizations, to boldly go where-“ you get the idea. 😉
My imagination can go as wild or realistic as I want. I only have to worry about my worlds being plausible to someone else (or to my scientific brain) if I want my story to sell. It’s fun getting to make up landscapes, social structures, religions, governments, ecosystems, pretty much anything I want to; I even get to make up everything that creates and influences life or the hero in whatever story I write. The hero of my story, whether he is human or non-human, needs to come from somewhere and interact with someone or something in order for there to be a story. That means I get to make all that up and that’s sometimes even more fun than writing the story itself.
Making Writer Friends
My writer friends are almost the exact opposite of my science geek friends. Like scientists and engineers, writers tend to be there own breed of human. Writers see the world differently than most, they tend to see situations through the lens of storytelling. “How can this situation be more dramatic?” “Wow! That would make an interesting story.” “Now wouldn’t that person make an interesting character?” I enjoy the variety that a writer’s perspective adds to my life. I like having divers friends and, from my experience, writers seem to be full of surprises.
Thinking and Talking About Writing and Storytelling
I get a major thrill from analyzing stories and I get an extra special thrill if I get to talk to someone else about it. Analyzing writing and stories is the way I enjoy a bad movie or book. I go about picking the story apart and figuring out how it could be improved or what went wrong for me. It’s also how I enjoy a pleasurable movie or book over and over again. After I go through the analysis on my own it’s lovely to talk to someone else about it, especially a writer friend. It’s fun to discus and to debate about the effectiveness of storytelling and writing style.
Experiencing the Art of Storytelling
Even though it’s hard work, I love applying the art of storytelling to my own work. It’s not easy, but it’s like solving a complex puzzle. Though I often get frustrated when I can’t find a quick solution, I enjoy the brainstorming I have to go through to solve plot issues or character development questions. It’s all part of the fun of story structure and world building.
Investigating Profound Questions
Writing, writing stories in particular, is a comfortable way to ask questions and come up with plausible, interesting, and potentially unique answers to those questions. The question can be anything from as complex as the meaning of life or as simple as what will happen if I cross the street today? Personally I’ll take a simple question like crossing the street and make it into what is the meaning of life; but you know, those are the kinds of conversations I like to have in real life so it makes sense I like asking those kinds of questions in stories too. The fun part is that you don’t always have to come up with answers to your questions, you could just come up with more or better questions to ask.
Share Observations and Opinions
Writing can also be a good way to share my observations of the world or sometimes share my opinions. It’s a nice way to start a dialogue because I’m so much more eloquent with my words when I write than when I speak. I have a little more time to think when I write and I can come up with better words or imagery to get my point across.
More Effective Communication
I’m one of those people who almost never seems to come up with the right thing to say when I have to say it. Kind of like Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail, I always get tongue tied whenever I get flustered or angry and sometimes have a hard time saying the right words to make someone understand what I’m saying in a conversation. If someone insults me I usually think of the perfect comebacks an hour later. When I write I can pretend to be one of those people who are quick witted and sharp at the right moments.
When I get excited and happy I get loud and sometimes make people uncomfortable with my sometimes exuberant enthusiasm. Sometimes when people ask my opinion they are usually put off by my completely honest and sometimes very blunt responses. I’m sorry, you wanted an answer right now. You didn’t give me time to cater the answer into something nice a fluffy for you to hear. If you didn’t really want an answer you shouldn’t have asked the question. Okay. So when I write, this kind of conflict can be avoided and more constructive communication can be experienced.
Writing is my most satisfying for of creative work. I don’t really play an instrument. I can’t draw to save my life; unless you’re ok with stick figures, I can at least draw those. I enjoy taking photos, but I’m not passionate about it as a true photographer is. I’m not a drama person, as I’ve stated before, so acting isn’t really up my ally. I do enjoy coloring and sewing, but I don’t feel as connected to these activities the same way as I do my writing. Somehow I find writing to be both a solitary and social endeavor, which challenges me in many ways and helps me learn life lessons. I’m sure other artists would say the same for their craft, writing just happens to be mine.
I Love Writing, How About You?
Those are my major reason for loving writing. What are yours? Leave a comment, I would love to know. Perhaps we can have a conversation about writing. 😉