Who do you want to be before you die?

posted in: Dave, JustPlainCool, Stuff I'm Doing | 0

Someone on Redditt asked if he should pursue writing.  That he liked writing, enjoyed, it but wasn’t sure.

Who do you want to be before you die?

Writers don’t have to become writers; they just are.  Writers are people who have stories, voices, characters, lives, inside that must get out.  Who take the fabric of imagination and lay it out into structured reality to share with others.  With voice, with page, with performance; they shape narrative and invite others to follow along.

Writers aren’t comfortable unless that’s happening.  Unless they can inject things inside them out to others.  They’re the life of the party, the joker on the stage; storytellers.

Writers aren’t happy unless they’re telling stories.  Someone who needs to write just does, and everything else is details.  Someone who doesn’t feel that urge, that itch, that desire, can still write; but it’s different.

But to do it well is *work*.  Good writing, good story, doesn’t just magically appear from the ether.  Not even years of “just writing” can reliably turn out well enough to attract an audience.  Imagination, creativity, drive are all important; but that imagination must be shaped.  That creativity has to be harnessed properly.  The drive must be channeled into the right form, into discipline and knowledge, to tame it into a familiar and comfortable form audiences like.

Storytelling is a calling and a craft.  Like any craft, any skill, it takes discipline to study and learn, to gather knowledge and apply it to improve the raw form.  Writing can be a job, but if the goal is to “get rich”, then the effort it would take to throw that set of dice would probably be more likely to pay off with something else.  Writers take that throw because it’s what they have to, need to, *want* to.

Some people paint.  They draw.  They play football, climb mountains, garden.  They program, sell, debate, or manage.  Anything’s possible; but a writer isn’t happy unless they’re writing.

What do you want to do with your life?  What will you think when ten years, twenty, *fifty*, have gone by and you’re looking at yourself?  If you write, will that make you look back fondly?  If you don’t, will you see yourself sad and despondent at the road not taken?

It’s your life.  Who do you want to be before you die?