08 July 2013

On Writers and Writing

Writers. Who needs them? Aren't they just a bunch of disillusioned, alcoholic maniacs who spend their whole lives writing about social issues and stuff that I have to actually write about in English class? Meh, so boring. I hate writers. I'm glad they mostly die before the age of 50. Thank God. Imagine what else they could write.

Why, indeed? People read today - it may be erotica or dystopia or trashy young adult romance, but it's still reading! Wrong. People need to read classic styles, not just what's popular today. There are some good books, but it's best to read stuff that people wrote before 1960, in point of fact. I'll get back to this.

I know a lot of people who hate writing. That's their opinion, they're entitled to it. But reading can be fun. In fact, I know a lot of people who love writing (and reading, by extension). I've always loved reading and writing. I learned to read when I was 3. Not many people can do that. But I digress.

Doesn't he just look dramatic?
My favorite writers are those who could speak eloquently and yet tell a story. I'm a Romantic view, remember, with a slight touch of Realism. (See here for my previous article on those two). People who could write a story, encapsulate it with wit and all this quotable stuff, and yet be original. Edgar Allan Poe, a great example. Mary Shelley and Lord Byron, also great examples. And of course F. Scott Fitzgerald, and finally, the best one of them all: Oscar Wilde.

(Get to the point, random blogger! You're losing my attention!)

Fine. My point is this: you don't have to hate on writing because you think it's hard. I know lots of people who find it hard to read or write. Not because they can't - but because they don't understand the importance.

The importance is this. Love it or hate it, the world needs writers. They may be modern-day hipsters who sit at Starbucks all day with their laptops and Moleskine notebooks (hides) or they can be really successful people who sit behind a desk. Like JK Rowling. But why?

People need to tell their emotions and thoughts. People express this in different ways. Some like to deal it out on the football field. Some people need to write a song and perform it. Some people need to just blurt it out to strangers. And some write it.

We write because we want others to know our emotions, thoughts and to tell a story. At least, that's what I write for. There may be another reason, but generally most writers seem to do that.

Our schooling system knows the importance of writing in society. But we go about it entirely wrong. Lots of kids could love writing if only the state made it that way. Instead we're forced to write "expository essays on the economic principles of Europe" or "text-to-self generalizations" and whatnot. That will get you nowhere. Really. It'll help in future - with college, definitely - and maybe with a job. But it's BORING. And the sad part is that what kids really want to write about - fantasy, their own made-up stories - isn't covered. We need more creative writing classes.

That's how I started out. I loved reading, but never really writing - it was usually expository what I was subjected to. But two years ago I was required to make up my own story. I hadn't before. I tried it - it was fun! Since then I have loved writing, written two novels, and a bunch of short stories and poems. That's what sparked my interest.

So if you want to know what writing's all about, then just take a topic - anything random and from your mind - and just write about it. You can write off the top of your head (stream of consciousness) or write a full, flowing narrative. It won't hurt, and maybe it'll change your attitude.

(But wait, random internet kid, why do we have to read other people's books that are boring and full of ****?)

It kind of has to do with above. It helps you gain perspective into the world. What people think, at different times, and et cetera. I kind of dealt with this with Shakespeare a couple weeks ago - and it applies here. I know, I know, I hate when books mean one thing and today we don't get it (look at the Bronte sisters, they wrote "comedies of manners" which aren't really comedies today.) But reading helps you see different styles, how to think differently, etc. You become smarter, and it's fun.

One last point: you may hate how some writers write. I know I do. I hate stream-of-consciousness (except, oddly enough, for Catcher in the Rye) and Hemingway's modernist style. That's my opinion. You might like it. But it's still worth reading. At least one book. You can gain some perspective, and if you want to write, you learn HOW NOT TO WRITE THAT WAY! *smiles* But if your teacher makes you spend a whole year reading a type of book you don't like, you might wanna suggest a different style to her/him. Say you want to be more well-rounded with books.

I hope that helps anyone who's confused with writing and reading and why they're so important.


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