I don’t always know what I want to write, but as I write, I discover meaning on the page – stories and ideas. And these shape my beliefs and convictions. I do not write what I believe and think, but believe and think what I write.
When writing non-fiction, you usually know what you want to write about before you begin. You probably have already a more or less definitive outline on paper, or at least in your mind. You know the direction, you know the main ideas, you know the message. The joy of writing comes from combining all the pieces together into a beautiful puzzle.
When writing stories, however, you often have only a vague idea about the plot, the setting, the characters. You have to discover them on the page. Even when you have a more or less clear outline of the plot, you still don’t know how the characters will react, what they will feel, what they will do. Sometimes they do the opposite of what you expect them to do.
The process of discovery on paper, of endless writing and rewriting, is to me what writing is all about. It’s tedious and hard at times, but it’s fulfilling, like exploring a dark dungeon full of riches not with a lantern, not with a torch, but with a flickering candle in your hand. You see only a little at a time.
The same process of discovery applies to my blog posts. I have only foggy ideas and beliefs about the topics I cover. But as I write, the fog fades, and I see more clearly.
This is what I love about writing. This is why I write. Writing helps me know what I think, what I believe, what I feel.