It was around grade 7 or 8 when I first became aware that my love of writing was more than just a passion. Teachers had begun to notice the flare I had for the written word, and my capability to convey things concisely and clearly; often moreso than my classmates. I was always writing; scribbling away in a notebook and taking what time my parents allowed me on the computer to pound out the stories that were dancing around in my head.
But it wasn’t until high school that I learned that my skills of writing went deeper than simply having the potential to be a ‘good’ writer. I had lashed out at a friend I was in a fight with, venomous words that hit so deep I could see the power of their slashes in their eyes. At first, I didn’t notice; until I took on a bully. Then an online flamer. My ability to shred someone with mere words seemed to grow, and I realized that I was what one might refer to as a wordsmith.
Eventually, as I began to grow up and (hopefully) grow wiser, I realized that using my talent to bring people down wasn’t what I wanted. I wondered, if I had the power to put together a string of words in a way that could tear a person down in an instant, did I also have the power to string together consecutive words that could build a person up and give them courage?
I began to experiment with different styles of writing; putting together encouraging poems, writing about things that were near and dear to my heart. Sending encouraging emails or letters to friends I knew were struggling.
I’ve been blessed with many different skills and talents in my life; leadership, artistic creativity in art and photography, school, being prone to intellectual levels of education. I’m a fast-learner, a strong reader, and have the ability to retain most information I receive like a sponge. But being a wordsmith has overshadowed them all. And it doesn’t surprise me.
Many of those things can actually be connected to writing; my skills in the arts help me to be able to understand a picture and paint it in words, leadership gives me the capability to write concise things that can inspire, my sponge-like mind allows me to have access to information (or know where to look for information) on a vast array of topics and issues.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that being able to write well; to have the kind of writing that impacts change and inspires people isn’t necessarily something that can be taught. But it’s also something that takes constant refining. It means continuously paying attention to the way you write, how you speak, how you make things flow. Learning new ways to write the same story so that it appeals to different types of people.
Since stepping into a job where I have the opportunity to do what I love every day, I’ve learned that often-times, it’s not about in what manner you’re doing it (or what I’m writing about in this instance), but rather that you’re doing what you love. Writing about things I’m not too keen on are where my skills are developed, because they challenge me. It’s one of the benefits of having a job that fits my strongest talent.
But it’s also helped me to understand that no matter what you do, you need to find time to do the things you love; to do the thing that drives you. When you have a passion, when you have something that you excel at, it exists as a fire in your soul. When you constantly ignite that fire, it causes a joy that is unexplainable. When you stifle it, there is a part of yourself that is missing.
I write because it is the fire that ignites in my soul, it is the thing that drives me. I write because someone will always be looking to read, and hopefully, that person will find life in the words I pour out on the page.
I write because every time I write, I work towards making that talent stronger, and I take a step towards being a better writer.
And sometimes, I write because it gives me warm fuzzies inside.
What is the biggest talent or skill that you have which drives you? Do you give in and practice it regularly?