Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesdays, where I post (you guessed it) tips on writing every Wednesday at 5:00 PM ET. This week’s topic:
So this week is going to be a bit different from what I normally do. For those of you who have been reading for a while, you know I usually like to stick pretty strictly to “how to write” themed posts.
But today I’m going talk about why we write, and why it’s important to keep writing.
There’s been a lot of turmoil in the political/human rights world lately, and regardless of which side you are on, the whole situation has been very stressful. Facebook newsfeeds are starting to fill up with posts like, “ENJOY THIS PICTURE OF A HAPPY PUPPY BECAUSE LET’S FACE IT WE COULD ALL USE IT.”
But what about stories? What about words? Do people still need them, or are drive-by 0.5 seconds of puppies all the world needs right now?
Not by a long shot.
Books are lovely because they help us slow down, they grant us time and the ability to be mindful of one thing instead of processing the countless feeds of the friends, acquaintances, and childhood rivals that populate our every minute that we are logged on to some kind of social media.
Blog posts are lovely for similar reasons—they give us something to read that is pleasant, thought-provoking, and hopefully not as stressful and anxiety-inducing as that distant relative who rants in all caps 17 times a day.
What I’m saying is that words are powerful because they’re not as instantaneous as a picture of a happy puppy—which don’t get me wrong, the world can always use more photos of happy pups.
What I am saying is this:
Written words create a moment that pictures never will. As writers, we invite people to spend a few moments, or longer, of their precious time, to be with us.
To just be.
So often people aren’t “present” anymore; we are constantly multi-tasking.. But in order to write this well, I have to turn off the part of my brain that is thinking about working on my book after I write this post.
In order to write, I have to grant myself the time and gift of being present.
Let’s change that:
In order to write, I must grant myself the privilege of being present. If I ask it of my reader, I must first give it to myself.
What I mean is that writing does not only help your readers—it helps yourself.
Thus I want to encourage you:
Work on your blog. Write your book. Craft your short stories. Compose your poems. Your songs. Your plays.
Because even if they do not hold the attention of thousands of people, or a few hundred, or ten, or less—the people who are reading it matter. It is my belief that writers are giving something to their readers; it is up to you what and how you give it to them, but I charge you with this:
Write something with hope. Encouragement. And truth.
If only this week, then this week only will do. Your writing is important; so are you. Your writing is important; so are your readers.
Write something you would want to read, and read things you would like to write. Exercise the empathy that reading and life have taught you.
But most importantly this week….
Alyssa Grace Moore