Why do writers write? Before you click away and read something else because you’ve heard the question tons of times and heard some great answer too, play along with me for a bit as my take may be a bit off the usual path. Of course the question’s been asked for centuries and answered by many writers and many very smart people. However, many people still ask the age old question like I recently asked myself.
I was getting a little tired of writing. I regularly write for three blogs and publish a small newsletter for professionals. Two blogs are pretty much the same topic area which is about everything and anything life related. Like a blank canvas—anything goes. The third blog is topic sensitive and limited to a serious subject matter. I suppose I may have been getting a little burned out but more so, writing felt too business-like. Too same-old-same old. Sort of like just fill in the blanks and get people to read and like it.
Some people will say, well of course that’s how writing should be. Get it to where people will read it and where people will like it—wham, bam, and thank you ma’am! But that kind of writing seemed blasé to me. It seemed superficial and on the verge of boring. But something happened to get me back on the path of writing that I had been on for years and that I was now teetering off of.
You see, I had just written an article about suicide. And a few days after it hit the web, I received an email from someone who had been seriously contemplating ending her life. She said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that she was considering suicide and that my article did much good for her to see things differently and move in another positive direction. She thanked me with an exuberance that showed in her writing and also that showed a spark had been lit in her. Then, I remembered that about a week earlier another person wrote that she regularly followed my blogs and that they make a positive difference in her life. She said that things wouldn’t be the same if they weren’t around. That’s when the clouds opened up. A rainbow appeared and a gentle lightning bolt nudged me directly in my buttocks. I heard violins in the distance, a light horn section too and then a gentle voice spoke to me.
Of course I jest when I say I heard and saw things but I did realize a deep personal truth about writing. I realized that writing is talking from your soul. It is exactly what an artist does on a blank canvas. It is spilling your heart, mind and soul onto paper or into cyberspace. It is not wham, bam get it liked, sold and complimented. Those are secondary. Writing, true writing is serious business because other people read it. That sounds so corny, I know, but other people read writers words and the pen is unquestionably mightier than the sword to sway people.
Writing is one-on-one communication with someone and not much is better than that. Fancy cars, boats and houses aren’t as grand as deep communication with someone. It is real. It can stay with you forever. It can touch you deeply more than anything else can.
I again remembered why I write. That I want to communicate with others. That I want to paint my canvas with what I know and with what I am all about. And then, share it, one-on-one. Real writing is deep and true. May I never again forget it.
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Latest posts by Steve Kovacs (see all)
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