Why Writing Is Important...
I first started writing when I was ten. It wasn’t because I was a prodigy and just fell into the thing I was born to do. It wasn’t because I had a talent that teachers praised me about. No, I wrote because I felt that was the only way I could get my feelings out.
You see, my parents were separating; my father was leaving the family, and I didn’t know who I could tell my thoughts to. As a preteen, I was going through puberty, liking girls, wondering why I was so skinny and not getting any bigger like the rest of my peers, and dealing with school. But I had an interest in books. They took me away from the stresses of everyday life, and as a preteen, sometimes you need that, you know?
First, it was The Boxcar Children. The best part about the mystery series was there were a million of them to read! I would try to figure out the mysteries before I reached the end – a habit I carry into my life now with the mysteries I read.
Then, I started to get into fantasy – by this time I was in high school. My favorite author today is still Terry Goodkind. His stories contain realistic characters, life lessons and morals I loved enough to apply to my life, and plots that I couldn’t get away from. It was the great worlds and characters of his that inspired me to try writing for myself the most.
But this isn’t about my writing, this is about how those other authors uplifted me. If any of you have been through a divorce, you go through a series of emotions. Depression, guilt, anger, but never, EVER, did I feel joy. Reading gave me back that joy.
Through reading, I learned the first few steps of how to be a man. I learned that the kind of man I wanted to be wasn’t a bad thing. I mean, I was skinny, so that burly, heavy-lifting, real-man stuff wasn’t in my world. And I found out that was okay through books. I liked to talk things out rather than fight them out. That was okay. I was more interested than being a person a woman could relate to rather than the drop-dead gorgeous man she couldn’t resist. I found out that was okay. Many of the things I thought about growing up was validated or invalidated through the books I read. There were other men who came in and out of my life – friends of the church, of the family, etc. – so I was able to combine information and experience to become the man I am today. Those authors, for all intents and purposes, taught me to just be who I am. Without their work...I don’t know who I’d be today.
I say that to say this, your writing can be just as important. If those writers didn’t have the belief in themselves enough to write, if they didn’t dare send those query letters, if they didn’t push through the writer’s block and rejection, I might have been a different person. I might have been an angry, thuggish young man. I might even be dead now. But they brought me to a whole new level of thinking. They helped broaden my horizons. They changed my life forever.
And you can do the same for your eventual fans, but you HAVE to dare to write. So, whatever you do, however far you want to take this thing, don’t you ever, ever, EVER give up. Even if you write one word a day, write. Get the words down. You never know who is out there waiting for a story like yours, needing a story like yours to show them the light.
Be that light for them. Only you can.
by Jonathan Miller II
President, iFlow Creative
Jonathan Miller is a bestselling author, an award-winning editor, and the owner of iFlow Creative. He has 21 years of writing experience, 10 years as a professional editor, and 2 years of ghostwriting. His company has helped over 168 authors with their creating bestsellers, receive invites to speak at schools, writing conventions and conferences, win awards, publishing deals, and more. His goal is to help 1000 writers make careers with their writing.