Writing Like Breathing or Eating or Walking

Girl Writing Painting by Robert Tracy

If you could master any writing style, how would you want to write?

Sparsely and vigorously, like Hemingway?

Magically and enchantingly like Gabriel Garcia Marquez?

Flamboyantly like Shakespeare?

Tersely like those American crime writers?

Impressionistically, like Chekhov?

Playfully and inventively like Emily Dickinson?

With your pen filled not with ink but with love, like Neruda?

In many styles, from the point of view of multiple heteronyms, like Fernando Pessoa?

I’ve heard it said that style is what we can’t help doing.

Our quirks, our mannerisms, our darlings.

In other words, our style chooses us.

The thing about breathing or eating or walking is that we don’t think too much about them.

We do them.

Or rather, they do themselves through us.

That’s how I would like to write too.

To write every day, out of a natural need to do it.

Without any ism and without a philosophy of writing to explain my choice of words or sentence structure.

Like breathing or eating or walking, I’d like to write without making the conscious effort to write, without even knowing that I write.

Writing in itself simple.

Stephen King called it telepathy.

But we are not simple because we are made of so many hopes and dreams and hesitations and flaws.

We tend to complicate writing as we do all things.

A flourish here, a metaphor there…

But still, I think I can write like I breathe or eat or sleep.

All it takes is writing every day and keeping at it.

And not thinking too much about it.

And not worrying about the result.

Only writing…

10 Things I Wish I Knew Sooner About Writing

Blank pages pen and map with magnifying glass and glasses


You can never finish a story or a poem – you can only abandon it.


Love and writing don’t always get along – sometimes you have to choose.


To aim for perfection in writing (beyond grammatical perfection) is to rewrite the fun out of writing.


Writing is a refined addiction but it is an addiction nevertheless – it can be unhealthy in a most insidious way.


You can’t write better just by writing more. To improve, you need to create spaces around your writing and to give yourself time.


What you want to write is not necessarily what others want to read, but what you need to write is, sometimes at least, exactly what others need to read.


Writing is a double-edged sword that can defend you from the world but that can also hurt those who want to get close to you.


It is only reasonable for most people around you not to understand what you are doing so many hours alone in your room.


If you are not careful, writing can become a white hole that sucks you in, effacing your social identity.


Writing is not an external act, even if its product may be a book, an article, or a blog post – writing is an internal act of escapism and, at the same time, of self-validation. It is pretending to be someone else only so that you can keep returning to yourself every day.

What’s a Writer to You?

Woman writing typewriter

Is it someone who writes every day?

Someone who makes a living writing?

Someone who sells books?

Someone who holds the quiet of a room dear?

Or is it perhaps someone who captures your mood?

To me, a writer is, well, any person who writes.

She doesn’t have to sell books.

She doesn’t have to be paid to write.

She doesn’t even have to write all that much every day.

What a writer does, to my mind,

Is to sit down before a white page

And craft something out of words:

A story, an article, a blog post, a poem, a play.

Anything will do.

A few lines will do, a few words.

A writer is someone who undresses herself

Of her solitude, of her fears, of her fantasies too,

And doesn’t get cold, because she wraps herself up in words.

For her, writing is not an act but a habit

As natural as breathing or eating,

And just like air or food,

She needs it every day.

She needs it so that

She will not lose herself

In the din and the silence,

The sadness and the joy,

Of tomorrow and tomorrow

And tomorrow.