Perspectives on Writing & Writers focuses on the relationship between writers and words. Perspective is an essential characteristic of any form of writing, from personal writing to professional writing.
Writing is not just for professional writers who intend to publish their writing. The act of writing is the astonishing human ability to capture language and write it down. Writing is a skill that makes language visible. When you think about it, the capacity to put words into a visible form sets humans apart from all other living things. The capacity to write words has been life-changing for the human race.
Can you imagine your life without written words? Most of us learned to write—and to read the writing of others—when we were very young children. We can write grocery lists, letters, wills, blog posts, emails. We can write articles for newspapers and magazines, novels, and how-to books. We can write letters and send birthday cards to family and friends. We can write private journals and diaries to remind ourselves of what we did years ago. The human capacity to write is a wondrous gift that we take for granted.
What’s the Problem?
Many aspiring writers who want to publish their writing face many problems. What to write. How to write. How to write compelling fiction. How to write authoritative self-help books. How to write biographies. How to find good editors and publishers. How to publish your own books and articles. How to promote your writing. The list is long and resources are abundant. You can subscribe to writing magazines, study writing books, go to writing conferences, join writing groups, and have a writing partner.
With so much advice, so many options, so many sources, so many conferences, so many teachers, so many agents, and so much information, you can be swamped with advice and possibilities. Your biggest problem is to understand clearly why you want to write so you can focus your attention on what you truly want to accomplish.
The Life-Changing Question
Perspective is an essential characteristic of any form of writing. How would you change your perspective on writing by asking yourself to identify your own reasons for writing? What do you want to write? Why do you write? Why does writing matter to you? What do you want to get out of writing?
Consider this definition of a writer on page twelve in a book by William Stafford, Writing the Australian Crawl.
A writer is a person who enters into sustained relations with the language for experiment and experience not available in any other way.
I found Stafford’s definition of a writer so intriguing that I decided to stop reading his book and to ponder his definition before I read any further. The result of my pondering was On Writing Words: A Writer’s Essential Relations with Words. Here are the final three paragraphs of my little book:
For some people who want to write, writing is a tool to accomplish some purpose. It is practical necessary, and often a chore. They write because they have to write.
For others. to be a writer is to have a love affair with words. These are the people who truly love to write. They love words. They love writing itself. They become involved with language because they love it.
If you’re that kind of writer, you don’t need a definition to tell you what to do. If you are in a love affair with words, you already know what to do. You give the best of what you are to the ones you love and intend the best for your beloved. You give your time, your attention, your intellect, your heart, and soul to the words you love and you write because you love to write.
Whether you write for publication or in a private journal, whether you write books, stories, blog posts, or letters, whether you do all of these types of writing and more, if you write because you love to write, writing itself will change you.
- You can become more intentional about what you do.
- You can hold yourself accountable for how you live.
- You can become more disciplined about your time.
- You can become more passionate about your life.
- You can even discover that you love your life.
Writing honestly and consistently will inevitably change your perspectives on any topic you choose to write about. Many writers who choose to write this way discover that writing is an essential part of their lives.
The life-changing question is: Why do you choose to write?
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