When I wrote what I considered to be my first “novel,” I adored it. I wanted the entire world to read it, and I wanted to get it out as quickly as possible.
I have since come to realize that it was horrible, with no plot, no concrete character development, nothing but overdone tropes, and genuinely had no memorable moments, but I’ll say this was due to my young age and general inexperience.
And honestly? I’m okay with that. Because I know I loved it, and I still do.
Loving the Art
Argue with me if you would like, but I strongly believe that in order to be a capital ‘W’ Writer, you have to love it. Well, maybe you don’t have to love everything you write to be a writer, but it certainly helps. No arguing on that one.
If writing is your full-time job, or hell, a fun pass time you have, then you should love what you do, especially if it’s how you make a living. There’s nothing more fulfilling than finally covering a blank page with stories you’ve created, everything you’ve envisioned falling out onto that document. And you should love every second of it.
Even if you hate the job you’re in. If you don’t adore the writing you’re working on. You should still. Love. To. Write.
There are a lot of things in this world itching to take away your happiness, so don’t let writing be something you lose. Don’t let it be something you’ve come to hate.
Making It Work
Imagine you’re on a basketball team. You love basketball with all your heart, and you’d do anything to get better. You practice every day, you eat right, you bond with your team, and you give it your all at games and practice. You’re going to get better, and fast.
Now, imagine that you hate sports (maybe you don’t have to imagine). You can’t stand to watch them, let alone play them. But you’re still on that basketball team, and you aren’t exactly the MVP. If you practice and give some effort in the game, are you going to get better at basketball? Sure, but nowhere near as much as you would if you were someone who enjoyed the sport you were playing.
The same goes for writing. You can write articles and emails and grants, or poems and stories and novels, and you can hate every minute of it. No one’s forcing you to love writing.
But do you want to strengthen your writing skills? Write better pieces? Be known for your craft? Well, then it won’t kill you to focus on something you can actually get pleasure out of. In the simplest terms: love your writing, and love to write.
Self-expression is the second biggest reason why I write (the first being that I want to share what I’ve made with others so that we can all have some big, fun, and emotional connection to my writing). No matter what it is I’m writing, there’s always going to be a way for me to have some sense of self in that piece.
For example: right now. I’m pouring my heart out onto my keyboard, and I love every goddamn second of it. I won’t lie and say that I do this solely for my own personal satisfaction, though that is part of it, but there’s something so insanely gratifying about finishing a piece of your own and being able to share it whenever and wherever you want.
With writing, there are infinite ways in which to express yourself, as there are infinite ways to do so in life. So why not take the opportunity? Why not take what you love (writing, in this case) and use it to your advantage? Cover your page with your feelings. Your characters. Your dreams your hopes your fears. Cover it with lists and ideas and meaningful quotes. Why not? What does this do for us if not enrich our talent?
In the End
You don’t have to love writing; it’s not a requirement. But, Lord, does it help if you want writing to be your be-all-end-all.
If you fully intend on writing to the best of your abilities and making it a practice you want to be involved in every day, then make sure it’s something that you truly want to commit to. Write for yourself, or write for others, or do both, but decide whether or not it’s something that you love, and if it’s something you can throw your soul into. To quote one of the greats:
“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” — Ron Swanson