Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?
Recently a writer friend shared a Facebook Post that quoted author Kurt Vonnegurt. The quote, according to the post, came from a letter he wrote to high school students.
“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.” Kurt Vonnegurt
Before I set out to write, I’ll often read essays in collections such as Slice Me Some Truth and Small Victories (Anne Lamont). Sometimes I’ll feel like quitting writing after reading these essays, as my own writing is not anything like or as good as the writing by these excellent word smiths. Every word, phrase, and literary device develops the theme, moves the story forward, and keeps the reader engaged–all things I aspire for my writing to also be. But most importantly, they create a moment in time that I can imagine, creating a new experience that may only be in my mind but expanding my world nonetheless.
This is why I think I write what I write-to have new experiences even while just sitting in an office chair surrounded by four walls. Each sentence, each word, even each spelling mistake is something new created at that very moment that wasn’t there milliseconds before. Even if the writing is not good, I wouldn’t have found that out without first taking that step to just write. The writing may never be good, but I have had the experience of writing. And are we not sums of our experiences? Kurt Vonnegurt suggests that experience is what can ‘make your soul grow’ no matter how well or badly you do. I’m hoping that in my final days of life, even though I likely will not be famous or money rich, I can say I had a life rich in experiences. So I write on, well and badly.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
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