A Passion for Writing
I have to admit I have always been a writer. Well, maybe not always, but at least from the age of thirteen on I was writing. I loved to read and be read to from birth, though, which is what any writer will probably tell you. There is a visceral connection between reading and writing.
The first thing I can really remember writing, outside of school projects and things, was a play. Why a play? To this day I still do not understand it. I had never even read or seen a play before outside of the bits and pieces of Shakespeare that I had been exposed to in elementary literature books. The play was also strange in that it was inspired by an old television show, made way before my time. Called Hogan’s Heroes, the show was a humorous account of a German prisoner of war camp during World War Two. Yes, that idea seems like a great one for a young writer to start out on, right? But, believe it or not, that is just what I did.
I remember scribbling furiously in my little journal, carefully numbering the pages as I wrote and going back to add in a note or two in the margins. You see, this was in the Stone Age- before every child or teen had a computer of their own. I spent a great deal of time reading and rereading every bit of text, carefully looking up how to spell the big words, and using my very best handwriting. To even write something legible was quite an accomplishment for me any day, so you can imagine how much hard labor went into creating an entire play that was clear and spelled mostly correctly.
At the end of the play I sketched the faces of the men I had just brought to life. Serious and sad, laughing and happy, messily dying or running or fighting: to say I lacked artistic talent is an understatement, but still I sketched. There was just something about it that I could not let go.
When the tome was complete I felt satisfied. I had accomplished something of great value, if only for myself. You see, I had no idea there was an entire group of writers out there doing the same thing I did. In fact it was not until I was in my twenties that I discovered what I had written was called fan fiction. By then I had written many more stories, though none were plays. That particular type of writing seemed too stifling to me. There was not enough room to add in all the little details that I loved to read about.
How, for example, did you give insight into a character’s mindset in a play? How did you describe the setting or the clothes they wore? How did you convey body movements and facial expressions? All those great things that mean as much, or more than, words.
Thus I left plays behind me and moved into short stories. These stories were typically packed full of action with minimal dialogue. Usually they were focused on one character as he made his way through the world. In fact, it was more a character study work then a short story, but that was okay with me too. As I said, I was always writing for myself fist. No one else read my work, nor was it edited by anyone. It was just me, my characters, and my passion.
I think that is the most important part of being a writer. The passion. You have to be driven from within to really want to write day in and day out. There has to be something inside you that prompts you to write down your feels, to express your thoughts, to create all these mythical people that live, forever, within your own mind.
For some writers, and even for myself at times, it is not so much a passion to write as it is a necessity. I feel like I would go insane or explode if I did not write. Most often that is due to the fact that writers have trouble expressing their thoughts, feelings and emotions verbally. I know I certainly do. There is just something terrifying about speaking words that can never be taken back or edited out. Something so final: like turning in your first rough draft without ever being able to look it over for spelling mistakes or grammar blunders.
Maybe it is more about control then I realize. Because you know that writers are control freaks. Though our lives and our offices and even our brains may be messy, our books are not. They are carefully crafted worlds where everything works just the way we want it to. Even when bad things happen we know the extent and length of the damage is fully under our control.
The thing that I have realized through my years of writing, though, is that the best stories come when we give up control. When we set loose the reigns of our imagination and let the characters write their own story. That is when the most magnificent, unplanned, and unregulated accidents happen. Those parts of us that are hidden deep inside come forth and show themselves in the words upon the page, revealing things we had never consciously thought about or considered writing down.
It is those moments that make writing a true passion. Because with a true passion it is all about letting go of control and allowing the unconscious free reign. It is about expressing feelings and thoughts that typically get squashed and compressed due to the boundaries of morals or society’s regulations. Thoseinstances where a writer truly becomes free to write makes for the best and most compelling writing of all.
I am not saying that all writing is some kind of mediation or spiritual experience. Quite frankly a lot of it is just typing down words to get them out of your head. But sometimes, every once in a while, writing becomes more than that. And that is when writing really feels like it is worth your while.
Having a passion for writing is not the mark of a writer. The mark of a writer is the inability to stop writing. Passion is a fleeting thing that comes and goes on its own whims, but the underlying fire that it kindles in the heart of a writer is what is important. It is what lasts through the log droughts between passionate explosions of productivity.
Being a writer means lots of hard work and endless hours typing when you would rather be doing almost anything else. It means collating your thoughts and imaginations into a form that others can understand, regardless of the fact that it loses something in the translation. Being a writer is like being a painter or a photographer. There is always something just off. Just off camera or just out of reach of your talents that you are striving for. That is why most writers never feel satisfied with their work. Because, to them, it is never really complete. There is only so much that words alone can capture, but it is the way you wield those words that matter.
Bring passion back into your writing. Set your mind free and allow your characters to write through you. Even if it is just a narrator without a name, still there is someone inside of you that longs to get out. That longs to express himself or herself. It is up to you to set them free and experience the passion and vitality that your mind holds within its recesses. All those thoughts and feelings that you never allowed yourself to dwell on can now be expressing though the eyes of another. That is what passionate writing is all about.
Jason Miner, an expert freelance writer, loves writing articles on different categories. He is approaching different bloggers to recognize each other's efforts through “www.blogcarnival.com”.