Well, does it? As I said in my last blog Why Buy a Book, I already know that I am an unknown author without a huge following trying to get my first novel noticed in a crowded market where anyone can publish anything. Sure there are success stories out there where a “nobody” made a name for his or her self and quit their day job to write full-time, but most of us realize that this is the exception rather than the norm…So then why would I continue to write despite this unfortunate understanding?
To answer both questions simultaneously, it is because I believe that writing does matter! There, blog finished.
You’re still here? Ah, you’re curious as to why I nurture this belief. Well, I suppose since you did bother to scroll down and check if this thought was fully founded rather than just hastily thrown up that I do owe you a bit more. As always, my primary purpose in writing this is to encourage others to continue the fight and persevere through any creeping negative thoughts that attempt to prevent them from realizing their potential.
I know I am not alone in suffering these thoughts and discouraging questions, so I wish to remind us all, myself included, exactly why what we do is so important in shaping the world. Furthermore, as I am a selfish reader incessantly searching for the next series to devour and obsess over, I hope that by writing this that even if I continue to write merely as a hobby, one of you will stay true to your passion and finish that masterpiece so that it can be my next world to dive into.
So why do I believe writing matters? Of course, I hope that each one of you has a thousand different answers personalized to your own experiences where you have seen the difference the written word can make in someone’s life. I will attempt to narrow these down in order to generalize my own reasons for carrying on in terms of the past, the present, and the future.
Where We’ve Come From
In ancient times, knowledge was passed down from one generation to the next through the telling of stories and later on through lectures where a massive audience would gather around to witness another’s insight. Eventually this evolved further still to translate to written texts in terms of pictographs, carved tablets, and eventually ink. The transition from spoken to recorded allowed for a greater preservation of the discoveries made by great minds as well as accurate recollection of important historical events.
Initially, only important people were allowed to learn the skill of reading and writing as it was understood that such skills brought power that elites wanted kept to themselves. The reasoning behind this was that allowing commoners to communicate with one another or to study and gain knowledge meant the possibility of being overthrown or undermined in the very least. How could something as simple as written words which we take for granted every day pose such a threat to royalty?
People, in my opinion, are biologically inclined to connect with one another for survival. (You can read one of the many reasons why I’ve come to this conclusion based purely on how our brains are wired here.) Keeping others from effectively communicating eliminates their ability to express their grievances to one another and come to the conclusion that they are not alone in their distaste for being taken advantage of. Without the subtle nuances of higher-level learning that writing and reading foster, under-educated people could not secretly plot or discuss among themselves.
As time passed and these skills became more and more necessary for daily living throughout the social classes, education increased allowing for a greater exchange of information. Though we certainly do not live in a utopia free of problems or social disparity, we are closer than we have ever been due to the free exchange of information posted online. As always, I will qualify this with the fact that I understand the dangers of anyone being able to post their ideas online without proof which can lead to entire groups of people jumping to conclusions before cross-referencing, but such misunderstandings have prevailed throughout history regardless of the medium
If royal elites could see the importance of writing to influence or control others, shouldn’t we still value the abilities we learn at such a young age and later come to accept merely as basic strengths most people in developed nations possess? Clearly, the past has held this skill in high regard, but let’s move on.
Where We Are
These days, we have books, newspapers, internet articles, and newscasts constantly influencing us whether or not we want to heed their words. This rapid transit of ideas has allowed for monumental increases in scientific areas such as medicine, architecture, and technology as well as more artistic avenues such as literature, movies, and philosophy. Without the necessity of delivering snail mail as the primary means of conveying information from one mind to the next in solving a puzzle, we are at the peak of information exchange.
Writing provides a way for common folks such as myself to be heard in their encouragements, complaints, and victories. It allows for anyone to dream of accomplishing more and, perhaps most importantly, to make friends with similar passions. I keep saying again and again just as in my first post Aspiring to Aspiring Writer, the opportunity to love others and help one another along in the journey of life should be a key component of everyone’s purpose. Now we get to digitally “meet” others from geographic and even socioeconomic areas we have never experienced.
Simply being able to enter a chat requires the use of written words or even online translation software, because the world is just that cool now. All of these friendships, business partnerships, and even romances are possible through others’ belief that writing today does still matter in terms of connections and paving a way for the future, which transitions nicely to my final category.
Where We Are Going
As a teacher, hopefully it is understandable that I couldn’t go forever without speaking to this highly influential area of my life. Tomorrow is what I spend every day working on, tirelessly working to prepare young minds to tackle issues that I can’t even imagine they may someday face. Though I am a mathematician/physicist, I try to maintain that communication is the most important skill that my pupils can pick up during their time in school
In a world where the means of communication are forever evolving even to the point where texting is beginning to die off in favor of video chats and messages, it has never been more important to emphasize the power words hold in written form. Thus, I implore anyone reading this who feels called to write as a hobby, profession, or any other desire to hone your craft and demonstrate to the next generation how ideas immortalized in digital or printed form will forever drive our world forward.
Furthermore, for those who disagree that the pros of being able to freely express ourselves via our writing do not outweigh the cons, shouldn’t that spur you on even more fervently to produce the facts you see so that impressionable minds have multiple sources to digest before coming to a conclusion that could mold the rest of their lives? If anyone fears that the “crap people can put on the internet” is dangerous for others who are still being exposed to a new topic, and I agree that it very well can be, I charge you with the task of ensuring our future politicians, scientists, philosophers, and yes, even writers have a varied knowledge pool to dive into when discovering their passions.
It Matters to Me
And I believe it matters to you. I believe that even if my words only reach the few people I am honored to read my work regularly, they will see my passion so that it spreads and reaches others through their filter. I love to write to organize my thoughts, express my love to those closest to me, and hopefully entertain those crazy enough to take the ride through my series Across The Breach with me.
And I like to sit in bookstores while I’m writing, so typical selfish Kagan, haha.