All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Writing Reflections

"Great writers stamp the world with their minds..."

- Michael Pollan

As we stumble into December, perhaps having finished our NaNoWriMo challenge or just having finished off the last of our Thanksgiving leftovers and what was left of our dignity, we head into the holiday season full-force. This, for me, is a time of reflection, both on the world around me and the world inside me. For all my loyal readers, I will mostly discuss the world inside me. Particularly, I will discuss my thoughts on being a writer, and how it relates to the quote above.

Now, I do not know if Michael Pollan spent hours upon hours sweating over getting those eight words just so perfectly aligned to portray what he intended, or if it was merely something that had been on his mind as a convenient transition from one discussion to the next. What matters is that when I read it, the words stuck. I put a special bookmark on that page just so I could easily reference the quote when I next needed it. That's a part of what writing is about to me - putting together words, phrases, ideas, stories, and so forth in such a way that someone out there will read it, take pause, read it again, and say to themselves, "Wow."

Now, I should be so lucky that something I write ends up getting immortalized in society's lexicon of great sayings, or even an entry on My purpose for writing is, in part, to turn all those ideas in my mind into words that other people might find meaning in. Maybe they'll agree, maybe not - I don't know. However, there is something amazing about typing up some words for nobody in particular, and later on, some stranger sees those words, thinks them over, and pauses for a moment of reflection. It is a form of connection that we can only appreciate on an abstract level, all while realizing that moment may never be realized.

When we first start on our journey of writing, we might have that dream of writing the perfect phrase, sentence, or explanation. However, in the beginning, this is unlikely to happen immediately as we are still learning our basics. That being said, beginners will still have those wonderful moments when they put down a few words, look at them, and think, "Whoa... that's brilliant." Maybe it's not the ultimate achievement, but it cues the beginner to realize they are on the right track.

Of course, the more and more we write, the more those moments happen. At first we might turn a phrase brilliantly, then we pop out a brilliant metaphor, or put together a great description, and they happen more and more often. Over time, we get to that point where our creation process is growing without us knowing it. This is what leads us toward becoming that great writer who stamps the world with their minds.

The only thing I put out there is a warning - this doesn't happen immediately, and you might only feel it long after you have been creating quality work. This is fine. Your only job is to continue writing, push yourself to do more, and trust that every word you type builds you as a writer. In time, the world will be affected.

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