I write because I honestly can’t draw what I see in my head.
No, but really, why do I write? Why do I waste time sitting in front of blank screens and empty pieces of paper, the pristine white taunting me, pushing me away, telling me not to come back unless I actually have a good idea?
Why do I stay up later during the week when I should be sleeping for my 9-5 the next morning? Why do I try when little to no one reads my work? Why do I post on Vocal when it seems like not even the Vocal Team reads my work for challenge submissions (did anyone sit down and read two of my stories that were almost about a 30-minute read - not likely)? Why do I write when it seems as soon as I put words to a page, they’re tossed out into the abyss, never to be seen again?
So, why? The answer to a question I’ve been asking myself for a while didn’t even come to me until a couple of weeks ago.
I write because it sets something within me free.
I write to expel, to cleanse, to wonder, ponder, to explore, to calm and soothe, to share, to connect. I write because it allows me to clear my head, the anxious brain never ceasing. It allows me to sift through thoughts that would otherwise become muddled and lost amongst the chaos inside my head. When creativity just…stops. When no design ideas or plans or projects come to mind, when the motivation for such things is sapped. I still seem to have a neverending stream of ideas for stories, novels, short stories, and so on.
It’s something within me that just never seems to cease.
And it’s brought me to a standstill in my life, quite honestly. Wondering if this is what truly fills a hole, makes me happy, that it’s something I need to pursue professionally instead.
But how? Surely it can’t be that simple?
Surely it can’t be worth the risk, right?
And the worst question of them all - am I actually good enough of a writer to pursue such things? Am I actually good enough to write a whole novel, to be a journalist, a screenwriter, a copywriter? All professions I've thought about pursuing multiple times, and many times on a whim.
I think I am, most times. But, half of the purpose of writing something is for others to read it, enjoy it, connect with it, or even hate it, and argue against it. Love or hate, it’s still garnering attention. And if there’s one thing my design classes have taught me in college, it was to be resilient to particularly harsh feedback or criticism and take it instead for what it is deep down - just plain feedback. Because as a creative, a designer, a writer, or simply human, we’re all changing and growing. We all have the chance and opportunity to learn and improve. My writing, for certain, has changed over the years for better or worse. There’s no denying it.
But it is enough to fill an aching gap in my soul that yearns for creative stimulation almost every day? To be happy in my profession and not work to live or even live to work - but to coexist in a profession that satisfies me both in my soul and creative mind, but financially and in the growth of my skillsets. There is harmony, I know there is, I just have yet to find it.
At the moment, however, writing remains a hobby. Something that kickstarts my creativity and fills any sort of empty nothingness that the world around has naturally created, devoid of hope and peace. Writing helps to maintain that peace, any sort of hope and happiness. Ideas that bring joy and adventure. Stories that take you to distant lands created from nothing but the incredible imagination, or stories that have you traveling to extraordinary lands that are much closer and very real.
And even if it’s not done as a profession yet, I still write for the sake of writing. Because I can.
Vocal, (my account) when starting 5 years ago, wasn’t something I’d ever expect success to come from, or even use. I’ve been using another website, 750words.com, that at least kept me consistent with writing and provoking new ideas daily. Hell, I even wrote for 365 days straight in 2021 on that website. And my account here on Vocal still sat untouched.
Writing on this website, and submitting to challenges; while I don’t expect to win every time - I don’t even expect to get really anything from each challenge I submit to. But, just submitting a story to my profile alone to be approved is a huge win in my book. Because after each story, after spending hours, days, and weeks on just one story to be read by a handful of people, or no one at all; I’m never not proud of what I can create.
And each story only fuels me. Comparing my writing style and voice and seeing that progress, that change? That’s all I need to keep going. That’s all I need to submit my next story, my next “brilliant” idea to another challenge. And hope something sticks. And if it doesn’t, well, that’s the first chapter of a novel I’ve been stuck on or a thought I’ve finally been able to manifest into words after weeks of pondering.
But, it wasn’t always this way. Posting my work on such public forums in such vulnerable states. Vocal has helped me to share my work more; to post it on my profile, and pat it on the shoulder with a ‘good luck, you got this’. It’s taught me to allow my writings to stand on their own - like I’ve been told to do with my design work in college - and let people take these stories for what they are; to enjoy them or not. It’s boosted my confidence when I do have a few people reading, especially if it’s an exposed part of my life grafted into a story that many agree they have connections to or have also experienced in some form themselves. To remind myself that my ventures are human and that many of us are just human.
About the Creator
Young, living - thriving? Writing every emotion, idea, or dream that intrigues me enough to put into a long string of words for others to absorb - in the hopes that someone relates, understands, and appreciates.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme