“I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die” – Issac Asimov.
There is a lot of truth to this quote.
I come from a personal perspective, but for me writing is much more than just a form of expression or a way to convey my thoughts. It is a method through which I break down the illogical nature of reality and try to understand how the world works.
All art is a method of expression. For me, it is a way to wrap up my own thoughts and feelings within the words of prose to ensure that my thoughts are hidden, but the truths of those thoughts are still there to be accessed by the reader.
When whittled down to this very basic form, there is a certain level of purity that associates itself with just wanting to express yourself. It doesn’t necessarily have to be good, it doesn’t have to sell hundreds of copies, or be read by thousands of people. Instead, it just has to be the best expression that you can manage at that time in your life, with all of your experiences and knowledge up to that date.
I looked back on some of my older writing the other day, and found myself criticising the way I had structured the story, the use of illogical break points and some parts of the dialogue that simply didn’t work at all. However, that story was a learning curve for me to test new ways of plotting, and the best method of expression that I could achieve at that age. Some of the scenes read wrong to me now because I have learnt so much more since writing that story, and now those words aren’t what I know to be true today.
What does this mean for writing as a whole? I suppose this piece is less a dissection of writing as a craft and more an acknowledgement of an artform. Art is a process, and it is a process that a person continues to develop over their lifetime.
Knowing that means I get to keep learning and growing as a writer. Knowing that means I have no pressure on how well I have to do as a writer. Knowing that means I can write better stories both now, and in the future.