Check out this great post by K.M. Weiland, readers!
Why Everyone Should Write (Even if You Think You Stink)
We often hear it said that “everyone wants to write a book.” Although we may find a certain amount of comforting inclusiveness in this idea, I think we also sometimes respond to it with at least a smidge of disdain. After all, the only people who should really be writing books are those who are good at it—or at last those who are serious about it. Right?
But this idea, however vague or unrealized, is problematic—for many reasons. For one thing, I think it is the internalized cause for much of the shame and insecurity that authors (and I daresay other artists) tend to struggle with so stereotypically. For another, it suggests that creativity and communication are only worthwhile if they attain some arbitrary (and often ever-shifting) standard of universal quality. And finally, adherence to this idea to whatever degree also robs the individual, and ultimately the world, of many other types of potential blessings which extend far beyond the created work itself.
I’ll be honest: even the title of this site—Helping Writers Become Authors—implicitly suggests that only “authors” count in contrast to plain old workaday “writers” (though there really isn’t a dictionary distinction between “writers” and “authors”). I suppose this is all fine and well. After all, at a certain point most people engaged in any artistic pursuit—and especially to the degree that they desire a return from it (commercial or otherwise)—will find purpose and enjoyment in understanding and improving their craft.
But insofar as this site, and many others like it, seem to be focused on “the serious writer,” I think it is important to remember that writing is not merely the domain of those who have proven themselves “worthy” through exemplary skill and study.
Indeed, I hope everyone does want to write a book. And I hope everyone writes at least one book—or poem or screenplay—or paints a picture, takes a beautiful photo, etc. The act of creativity is sacred. More than that, it is the portal through we which we have the opportunity to bless our own lives and by extension the world. And this is true even if our work is witnessed by no one but ourselves.
If you have ever come to this site, others like it, or books about writing—or even just read a novel by someone whose skill and inspiration felt miles beyond your own—and felt that you should give up right now, that you have no right to write anything or call yourself a “writer,” much less an “author”—or if you feel your scribblings, however passionate, do not count because you have no ambition to publish or be a “good writer”—if grammar and story structure and arguments about POV and the Oxford comma aren’t your thing—it doesn’t matter.