Writing might feel like a strange purpose when you aren’t paid for it. You should keep at it because improvement only comes with practice. However, a writer’s pursuit for perfection is a never-ending journey. That’s a fancy way of putting it. The truth is that there are neither zeniths for us to attain. There are no moon landings. No timeouts either.
But there are perfectly valid reasons for you to stop procrastinating and start writing.
The creative process can be an intoxicating dilemma. One moment you feel warm and you ache to grab the sun. You want to hold it in your fist and squeeze it until it leaks light on everybody. Hold your readers’ hands and show them around a beautiful abode. Rub lemon balm on their foreheads. Tell them that everything will be okay. Other times – you want to grab people by the collar and scream at them. Pour burning wax on farcical myths they subscribe to. Showcase how destructive their contributions to the planet are.
The commonality is that you just want people to hear you out.
It isn’t that we, as writers, are more aware of the world than the average person. Writing isn’t analytical reporting. It is as much intellectual altruism as poking a tomato with a spoon can be referred to as cooking. We aren’t better equipped to orchestrate interesting discourses either.
Writing just feels good. The topic doesn’t always matter. You don’t need a debriefing. Or an official email. It could be about something that has been on our mind for long. Perhaps an uncommon experience. You need to translate it into words. A few people may read it. They may connect to it. And you feel even better. Then, you start hoping that it makes them feel better too, bringing them closer to their own pursuits.
It is why you must write regularly even if no one has offered to pay you for it yet.
Write like Pied Kingfishers hunt. They observe from a high perch and hover in the air before diving below to catch prey with speed and accuracy. Don’t decide on the subject matter unless you can commit to it. Never rush in to conclude on a clever note. Your readers aren’t looking for answers. They want conversations. As a good storyteller, you can move them with questions too.
But it is pertinent that you aren’t a stranger to the writer inside you. This isn’t cycling. You can forget how to communicate to the best of your declining abilities.
So write like your city depends on it to get through the night. Like you are saving a sunset from being swallowed by the ocean, hissing and spitting blood orange songs.
Write like you care. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have brought your life to a screeching halt and tried your hardest to spill forth words, if not – gently leak them out. Don’t question your talent or purpose just because people aren’t making money off it yet.
Write out of love. Talk about pain. Discuss your successes and failures. And all the while – commit to learning about form, structure, and psychology.
Write because you can.
Because you must.
(Photographs: East Coast Road)