*This post is part four of an eight week series by Janet Brent at the Purple Panda Posse
I wrote everything and anything I could; from fiction and fanfiction, to poetry, essays, blog posts, rants, and in-depth journals. I couldn’t help it. When I write, I feel at peace. It feels as natural to me as breathing, and as necessary to me as food. When I don’t have time to write at all, I become irritable and depressed, and feel as if a part of my soul is missing.
This week’s prompt was to write a top ten list about something you are interested in or know a lot about, and for me, writing about writing kinda just made sense. So, without further adieu, here is a top 10 list of why writing is one of the things that drives me.
1) It’s a way to quiet my mind. Between things going on in life and the random thoughts I have, there are usually a million and one things rattling around in my brain at once. It’s part of why I can often seem scatterbrained or a little ditzy; there is literally so much running through my mind at once that I often get confused or get things jumbled. Writing about any of the topics swimming around in my mind calms the rush and allows me to focus. It separates the issues again and allows me to focus on one thing at a time, and feel less stressed.
2) It takes me to a completely different world. It doesn’t matter whether I’m writing fiction or non-fiction, an article or a story; when I get focused into my writing, I’m gone. Anyone who knows me has probably witnessed me in this stage at one point or another. People can have conversations around me, loud noises can be going on and I won’t notice a thing. It’s just me, staring at my work and scribbling (or typing) away furiously.
3) When it comes to article writing, crafting the perfect article is like putting together a puzzle for me. You have a series of possible quotes and a bunch of information, and they need to be crafted together to create a perfect flow. You have to make it interesting and readable, but also informative and accurate. Much like creating a puzzle, everything fits into it’s own perfect place, it’s just a matter of finding it.
4) Constant creativity all the time. Especially working as a full-time journalist, I don’t have a choice to turn off my creative if I want to. Every story needs to be told in a way that can engage readers, even when it is the most boring, bland, shapeless story being told. It’s a wonderful challenge, because I have to find new ways to say things, find new descriptions, new angles. It’s constantly shaping and reshaping what I’m writing until it becomes something readable and beautiful.
5) It gives me an excuse to use a thesaurus. I LOVE learning new words and finding new ways to say things. I like finding words that are not necessarily big, but perhaps have their own unique beauty in the way they read. They describe things in a different way, and sometimes, if they’re a great enough word, can paint a picture on their own without anything else.
6) I’m a far better writer than I am a speaker. When I get extremely emotional, I often find it hard to speak, to find the right words and properly convey how I am feeling. But when I put pen to paper, I am almost always able to find the perfect combination of words to express what I am feeling in depth. It allows me to convey what I am trying to express in a far more rational manner than the verbal diarrhea that tends to spew out of my mouth when I am extremely emotional.
7) It helps me to sort out my own thoughts and feelings. There are times, particularly with my bipolar, where I may not see a situation correctly or where my emotions are getting the better of me and blocking me from being able to make a proper decision or see things as they are. Writing is often a way for me to give myself a figurative slap in the face and help me to see through it all.
8) IMAGINATION. I don’t need someone to give me a book about dragons, warrior princesses or crazy space fights (though I love reading them), because I can create my own story. I can develop my own characters and develop my own world, and when I do I get just as lost in it as I do in someone else’s book. I get sucked into the story. Many of them will probably never see the light of day, but writing it for me is more than enough of an enjoyment factor.
9) I get to do it my way. Oftentimes in a job or in a different activity, there are certain ways to do things. Ways to hit a baseball, ways to enter a form, ways to address a customer. But when it comes to writing, I don’t have to follow somebody else’s technique or ideas, I get to use my own.
10) Words have the power to create change, to make a difference. I’m not good at technical things, or building things. I’m not really a huge people person (although I’m good at pretending to be an extrovert), and I’m often not good at making connections with total strangers. But I am good at using my words to convey important thoughts, to create change and to inspire others to make a difference and do more. And sometimes, when I’m really invested in a topic, it inspires me to do more too.