What is Writing?

The most important message you need to carry with you is this:

You are a writer

That’s the first step.

You know that you have a story or a message that burns within you, that needs to be released. Most importantly, you know that words are your medium.

But what if you don’t? What if you’re struggling with the concept of writing vs. visual art such as painting, collage, film, etc?

I pose the question then:

What is Writing?

Before going on, I want you to pause, consider, perhaps even take out your journal and writ what you believe writing to be for you. What does it mean to you, for you, for your family, for your community, for the world? What is writing?

It’s alright. I’ll wait.

Have you got it down? Excellent. Be sure to share it with me before we got too into my thoughts. It’s your voice that is important, and your voice that the world needs to hear.

I’ll say it again –

What Writing means to You is More Important
than what it means to me.

My Answer: What is Writing?

Writing is about communication in such a way that it brings in not just the immediate information, but the personality behind the words.

We are all a part of a world…
Where there is a human,
there is connection

Writing is a means of connecting one individual to another through words. The word choice one uses, the order in which the words are used, all create a different form of connection between one writer and one reader. To work as a writer means to make a network, and to develop that into a community.

Writing, and thus reading as well, is a way of remembering that we are all a part of a world that might be riddled with screens and technology, but behind every piece of technology, there is a human. Where there is a human, there is connection.

Keeping this in mind is what makes a good writer. It is the difference between data entry or information entry/output. It is the character within any writing piece. When the human element is apparent and behind an article or piece of information, the reader is more likely to relate to the piece, regardless of the content.

If I am to get to the true core of what I believe the purpose of a writer is, what the true purpose of writing is,
I would have to say that it is to record and remind the world of our humanity.

The true purpose of writing is to allow experiences of otherness to infiltrate the comfort of our thinking so that we can understand each other, so that we can understand that we are all a part of this human experience, and thus create empathy in the world.

Where there is empathy, there is compassion. Where there is compassion, there is unity. The job of a writer is to communicate. That communication leads to connection which leads to unity.

Your Turn Again

This is your exercise to get your appetite going.

Take out a piece of paper, or better yet, your journal (every writer should have a journal!), and think about what you decided writing means to you. If you struggled with that part, that’s alright. You can think about what I said about writing as a jumping off point if you’dl ike.

Now, spend some time answering and journaling your thoughts to the following questions:

  • How does your understanding of what writing means to you inspire you?
  • How are you using it to fuel your fire, spark your flame, ignite your creativity?
  • How is your passion serving you?
  • How are you serving your people with your passion?

How did this exercise treat you? Are you feeling ready to create? Are you feeling ready to make writing your focus in your daily routine?

Then let’s keep that fire lit.

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Published by

Nicola Thompson

Born and raised in the Pacific North West (Washington State to be specific), I'm currently living on a farm, raising chickens, and writing in North Yorkshire. A former editor of Durham University's online magazine, The Bubble, I also write for the magazine Carpe Nocturne, and have several short stories published in a variety of anthologies.

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