Now before I run away with this, I must confess that I have been guilty of being in the mindset, “Writing won’t get me anywhere. I’m going to end up in the ditches penniless; it’s a completely unrealistic and insane sort of occupation reserved for those who are half-suicidal and babbling to themselves.” (Although, when I write, I do like to talk to myself to sort out ideas…I digress.)
And it’s somewhat true. I grew up in a culture and mindset where this was how authors were viewed, and I also bought into the mindset that only a handful could actually make it. Writing just wasn’t an option for me if I wanted a ‘life’.
But then it got me to thinking, “What sort of life would I be living in a world without words?” That was sobering. I knew that three kinds of people influenced me the most in life:
- My Family
- Doctors and Teachers (Interestingly, they are synoymous in Japanese.)
And even before I started listing the authors who influenced me, I realized that the greatest person who changed my life and is in control of my life is an Author. Truly, God is the Author of salvation and my life story. His Story is the one most important stories ever told.
Shouldn’t that tell me something?
Another thing I realized was that the people I admired and wished to be like (the second category of doctors) often had ended up becoming authors themselves. Not only did they love the science in their lives, but they also appreciated the art and cherished it. Instead of forcing myself to choose between the art and science like my culture told me. Perchance it really was possible to pursue the art as well as my love for science.
But this is all rather personal and doesn’t really apply to you. You might be thinking, “Well, kudos to you! I love it that you have this vague sense of revelation in your life that you can write and retain your sanity. That doesn’t really mean anything to other people…like me.” That’s perfectly right. But writing, dear comrades, is not about right or wrong. It’s all about the world you stand in and how you can share that perspective with others. For me personally, it’s about how I can portray truth and beauty from where I stand.
Alwith as I pointed out before, we are already drowned in the thousands of words and voices around us. Why should we even consider adding another?
Well, I should note that our God is a Word. He is Word (logos) but he is God. With a simple thing like a word, he created the entire universe and orchestrated the entire story of mankind. I simply find it hard to believe God would disregard words that he gave to us to express ourselves. And we cannot forget that God is also a very creative Person. Why else would he have had all the colourful people write the Bible over such a long period of time?
Second is that how the modern people are the first to be unable to write ‘properly’. Now, you may disagree, but I cannot help but thinking back to the classical methods by which great Christian authors were educated in. These people that I look up to were also fearing of what would become to future generations who started thinking as though science and hard facts were everything, who didn’t really know logic or rhetoric or any of the traditional arts…who did not really understand the might of the pen. And recently, people are starting to discover that people who can write well can also think well. When they put their ideas into words, it takes energy, effort, and concentration. It’s actually quite a useful skill to have.
Finally, I should note that this topic is about writing. It’s not writing seriously like I am pursuing, and it’s writing aimed at the most basic level. Although if you were to consider serious writing, too, I should be very glad, but simply people writing is a wonderful thing. It’s a life-long learning process, and it’s most definitely an art. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it is not something you learn once only in grammar school. It’s the secondary way for any person to communicate.
This post has become rather long, but I must stress the importance of writing. Writing isn’t just worth it; it’s worth every penny you’ve got. As divinely created beings, we are called to create. Amongst the modern world that is becoming exceedingly digital and writing seems useless, your skill of writing is actually becoming valued. Additionally, writing is an art that you learn over a long period of time, just like any skill, such music. So the next time you are discouraged that maybe you cannot write well, or feel as though all the writing you do is not going anywhere, be assured, dear comrade. It will. Keep writing, and that writing will speak for itself.
So what do you think? What does writing mean to you personally? I would love to hear your opinions!