The Value of Writing

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What a strange world this would be if everyone who wrote was a famous author.

First, there probably wouldn’t be any forests left and the global ecosystem would be in peril.

Second, readers would be overwhelmed by so many books for sale and they would probably stop reading altogether and go to the movies.

Third, books would become like those flyers that they send us in the mailbox. We’d glance at them and then trash them.

Does the world need more famous authors?

Maybe not.

Does the world need more writers?

Well, why not? Why shouldn’t the world have more writers?

To write means to observe. To see. To hear. To taste. To contemplate. It means to look deeply at the world. Also, to give a voice to things that would otherwise be hushed by silence.

Writers may not be as useful as engineers or doctors. They may not make the world a better place in any direct, tangible way. But they can certainly make it more interesting.

Writers are on the borderline between art and philosophy, passion and knowledge, dreams and history. They capture the essence of a time and place and pass it on to other generations for safekeeping.

Superfluous though they may seem in our utilitarian times, writers are here because they need to be here. Their own existence validates their purpose.

Whether we are bloggers or poets, article writers or copywriters, we are a bridge between people and the world. Not just a creaky footbridge, but a valuable connection between the world at large and people’s everyday lives.

If we believe in what we write, if we write it well, we can never be completely useless.

To earn a living writing is a wonderful thing. It can be an end in itself. It allows us to write as a way of life. To read at our leisure. To live a quiet but enjoyable writerly life.

Some writers may become famous, but that’s something best left to readers. To society. To history even. A writer can make himself famous, sure, but often, it’s only for the wrong reasons.

I don’t care that much for fame. After all, my favorite writers are dead.

I write as a way of life. That’s quite enough for me.

Why do you write?

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8 thoughts on “The Value of Writing

  1. Writing for me is a form of creative expression and simple escapism/entertainment. Plus I love the process of bringing a piece to a published format. The idea, developing it, research, editing, formatting, and then getting feedback… so its more about the journey than the end result.

  2. Writing for me is a source of mindfulness. I love writing because that’s the way I cherish little things in life. Thanks for reminding this by your post!

  3. I write because I’m not great with verbal communication. When I write, no one can interrupt me and I can say what I need to say. It is also one of my preferred creative outlets. I love this post, though. It’s so true that if everyone were a famous author, people would not enjoy the written words as much. It’s the one time I am glad not even I am a famous writer.

  4. I work with two genres: short story and novel. For me, these have become the best mediums to express ideas and feelings regarding the experience of living.

    Of course that begs the question: Where does this desire “to express” come from? I don’t know. I sometimes feel, very strongly, that it is my personal, moral responsibility or obligation to write and communicate to the best of my ability these ideas that may make the world a better place–or at least, a more enjoyable place! 🙂

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