For years I avoided putting pen to paper or moving my fingers across the keys because as much as I love language and literature I could not imagine myself as a ‘proper’ writer.
My demons were loud, even as they whispered, and it was easier to just not.
I would stand up and declare that everyone should have the opportunity and the education to get their voices out, but I didn’t need that, thanks though. I would console myself with the knowledge that compared to the age of the Universe my artistic longings were the mere blink of the eye, not even that really. I told my 8 year old self that adults have bills to pay and that getting paid to write things was an impossible path for those without connections. I told myself all of those things because they mirrored what I had been told by others, not explicitly, not in those terms, but told nevertheless. ‘Real writers just write, it’s in your soul, you can’t help but write. I’d die if I didn’t write every day’
But here’s the kicker THOSE THINGS ARE NOT TRUE. Ok, not everyone gets to write for a living, I certainly don’t, but that shouldn’t stop you.
It is more than possible for someone who feels themselves to be a writer, in their genes, in their soul or in their intellect, to never write a word. They will not explode, they will not necessarily have bad or unstable lives, but they will have something missing. They might go into a retail job because their fingers just want to push buttons (which was a mistake to do right before all the tills went over to scanners instead of buttons…sigh). They might end up with lives full of frivolities, dull and meaningless pastimes to fill voids that should have been spend gaining those almost impossible to remove ink stains.
But creativity is what makes us human. Filling our minds with possibilities, changing the world into what we want it to be instead of what it is, building memories that colour how we view the future…all of those things are human and creative.
If you want to write, write. If you want to draw, draw. If you want to build a more efficient aeroplane, tractor or bed-making machine, then do those things too. Our value as humans is equivalent, you have just as much right to be creative as the next person and your life will be better if you do.