Writing Is…

My Twitter addiction introduced me to G. L. Drummond, so I suppose it’s only fair that she’s pushing me to longer-form responses now. Her latest nudge is an Internet meme asking us to explain what writing means to us…

Honestly, it’s almost something I take for granted. I do it every day for my office job. I even have sufficient linguistic expertise that I’m regularly invited to improve others’ writing. But when I consider both the level of illiteracy and the frequency with which women are oppressed the world over, I know I should take this opportunity a little more seriously.

So. I’ll go with: Writing is a concrete result of being able to exercise our innate imagination, creativity, and inventiveness. It’s a way to dream out loud, and impact the world around us with thoughtful, reasoned presentations–even if those come out resembling inchoate rants out of the mouths of obstreperous characters in our stories, or dark tales of disaster. I especially like it when writing is a way to look at what we might have done differently, and imagine ourselves into circumstances that improve our existence.

I love it that the society in which I live has prized the written word from the hands of magicians and priests, who long insisted on being the intermediaries and interpreters of arcane texts, and delivered it into the hands of everyday people. I love the metaphor that knowing how to read and applying that skill is like deciding you no longer need an intercessor, but are now fully capable of living for yourself, accepting whatever consequences arise from your own actions.

So now I’ll pass the hot potato on to a few other writers I know online:

One Response to “Writing Is…”

  1. @bhaefs says:

    My brain has been percolating answers since I first read your post yesterday!

    In short: Writing, to me, is the Holy Grail.

    In long: Writing, to me, *should* be a playground that I can create and play in. I’d fly gleefully from swings of logic, carefully construct card-houses of fancy only to knock them down…just for the fun of building anew. I’d develop wild rides that defy all laws of literature and leap over giant plot holes in a single bound. I’d twist and spin all elements around me until not even *I* had any clue what would come next.

    Only…there’s a bully in the playground. He delights in knocking down my every invention. Not only that, he’s *good* at it, convincing me of his correctness every step of the way. After all, he gets paid for his bullying (which he calls “editing”), and I’ve never been paid once for my creative playground construction.

    And so my professional, workplace-developed inner bully squashes whatever innovation I attempt to begin. He practices all day, every weekday, and his voice has grown alarmingly. When the voice of your inner editor out-decibels the voice of your inner writer, you reach a sort of stalemate.

    So. In short. Writing, to me, is the Holy Grail.

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