A World of Books...
Have you ever read something that made you stop and think? Gave you a new idea? Helped you see your circumstances differently? Propelled you into an important decision? Life-changing discovery?
I have. Many times. And it was possible because someone took time to share.
I wonder what the world would look like if nobody could record their knowledge, discoveries, wisdom, and pass it on to others. Lots of things would be lost forever.
Even God chose to record His story in the Bible and share it with humanity. And because of that, I am able to read the life-giving words every day.
Oscar Wilde wrote that "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." And Confucius added centuries earlier that "No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." Ouch.
Books clearly make a big difference in our lives, both fiction and non-fiction. And there is also another side to this. Writing is as important as reading.
Why I Write...
A writer, Joseph Epstein, said that 81% of Americans feel that they have a book in them. I don’t know how he came up with this, but I personally heard several people say that they want to write a book. That’s because all of us are full of information. We have experience, knowledge, and life lessons others could benefit from. Even we ourselves can benefit from writing our thoughts down.
I started my writing journey by keeping a diary and expressing my feelings through poetry. There was something about pouring everything out on paper or onto the computer that helped me clear my mind and answer my own questions. Somehow it filled me. It was like I had a conversation with a helpful friend. These writing sessions at times turned into written prayers and soul-searching discoveries.
At times, I felt like I had to share what I wrote with others. If the discoveries I made through this process helped me, then maybe reading about my struggles and victories could help someone else. And that’s how my blog was born.
Then, I got an idea for a story, and that's how The Seven Lives of Grace was written. I still love this book, and would happily read it again myself :). But when writing gets tough and things don't come together easily, I go back to the root and remind myself why I started writing in the first place. Here is my list.
Why do I write?
To express myself.
To have a creative outlet
To share my thoughts with the world
To help others on their journey
Here is a blog post that goes over how writing can help release stress and give you power over your emotions. And this one lists a few other benefits of self-expression in creative writing. If you want more of a scientific research behind the notion of expressive writing, here is an article on that.
A Writer in You...
Do you find that you express yourself better in a written form? For some of us, it’s a preferred form of communication, and I want to encourage you to use it. But even if you dislike writing, it's worth giving it a shot. Here are some ideas:
Start journaling - list of journal apps
Write a letter to a distressed friend to encourage him or her
Put your feelings in writing
Jot down advice to yourself
Record a legacy for your children with your life lessons
Write down your prayers
Try writing prompts
Compose a blessing for someone
Keep a record of answered prayers and everyday miracles
Make a list of things you're thankful for
Scribble a love note for your significant other
Join online #writingcommunity and share your thoughts
As you can see, writing can have a lot of benefits. And it's something you will enjoy doing once you get a hang of it. Start simple. It will enrich your life and preserve precious memories.
When my husband was in the military, we used to write letters to each other. I still have them. It will be fun to read them when we're both old.
Now I would like to chat with those of you who aspire to write a book.
I have to say, in the world we live now, it's possible for everyone to be a published writer. You don't have to wait to be approved by a big publishing company. You can have a book out for yourself, for your family, your friends. Who knows, maybe many others would benefit too. To learn more about the process, read my other blog post.
So, join the community of people who are sending their stories into the world. Yes, there are millions of books, but none like the one you can write. Somebody needs what you have to give. And we all have something to share.
Feel free to share under this blog post about how writing or reading impacted your life or what you hope to accomplish in your writing journey.
I want to leave you with this quote from William Faulkner:
If the story is in you, it has got to come out.
What is your story?