The Aspiring Writer

“I think I want to get into writing.”

“I’ve been working on a novel myself actually.”

“Oh, really? How long have you been working on it for?”

“A few years.”

“I only started this whole writing thing a few months ago. Nearly finished, then?”

“Fortunately, not that much. It’s in the early beta stages but I’ll get there. I need to do some more aspiring before I get to the writing.”

“Don’t you want to get it done?”

“No. That’s the best part. I am an aspiring writer. Not a writer. I don’t have to do any of the hard work but I’ll still look like I am. I can just say I’m working on it and by that I mean procrastinating.”

“Working means procrastinating in your world?”

“Yes it does. Working is procrastinating since it gives all the benefits without any of the honesty. My novel is really grand. It’s a story of a protagonist who is best friends with his opposite and gets jealous of how successful he is. The protagonist is me. The friend is imaginary just like my real life ones.”

“This is getting quite personal. Sorry if I’ve awoken any demons here…”

“Oh no, that’s fine. My demons are visible for everyone to see. In fact, I’ll probably write about them some day.”

“I hope you get round to that.”

“So do I. I’m sure it’d be a great read.”

“I’m not looking to write a novel. I think I want to write a children’s book.”

“I couldn’t do that within any deadline.”

“It’s going to be about a girl who wants to be a comedian but her parents thinks she’s too pretty to be funny. Then she’ll try making herself as ugly as possible by painting her face and wearing her brother’s clothes all the time.”

“Haha, sounds like a fun story”

“Thank you very much. I really hope it makes a statement about gender roles in society because it really needs to be said. But in a more light-hearted manner”

“When will you release your Magnum Opus to the world?”

“Oh I have no idea. I’ve just been busy.”

“Ah yes, that pesky busy-ness that seems to plague all of us. What are we even busy with? Coffees and ‘work’?”

“Don’t mock what I’m saying. I’ve just been busy – it’s on the back burner.”

“I get busy too. Facebook and twitter are just so blue. Like my feelings lately. Writing is just so torturous.”

“But you don’t write? You just ‘aspire’.”

“Yes, that’s what I meant. Thinking about writing is so torturous I don’t do any of it. It makes it less like torture and more like a romanticized struggle between pen, paper and a fleeting mind”

“It can’t be that difficult, can it?”

“Oh it really is. You just have to trust me. Are you going to finish your cake by the way?”

“No, please, help yourself. Can you continue the thought about struggles?”

“Yes I will. Just couldn’t pass up on a lonely triple chocolate muffin. Anyway, in its simplest form, I think a lot of my work is going to be rubbish so I don’t write anything. It gives me the excuse to hold onto the idealised form in my head and reminisce in what could have been had I actually had the desire to sit down and write.”

“Hmm. My work might be terrible and that’s really scary.”

“All aspiring writers know that it’s meant to be scary. We’ve all read On Writing by Stephen King a few times and still don’t want to face that fear. I certainly don’t. That’s not in my job description.”

“I’m not an aspiring writer. I’m a writer! And I haven’t even read On Writing. I read a lot of children’s books and cartoons for inspiration.”

“Sorry for offending you. I just thought that since you haven’t actually done any writing but say you want to, you’re an aspiring writer.”

“I’m far different from you.”

“You definitely are. Your hair is brown.”

“I mean about this whole writing thing. I’m actually going to write and you’ve made it very clear you don’t even want to.”

“OK, OK. I’ll believe you. You really want to write but don’t write.”

“Because I’m busy.”

“You’re busy.”

“I really am. I have a job.”

“So do I. You’re not too good at this whole spot the differences thing.”

“I’ve always wanted to write sto-“

“Write stories and books and even plays ever since I could remember.”

“Don’t be so rude. You know what I mean.”

“Apparently I don’t.”

“No. You don’t. Writing makes me feel like an armless, legless-“

“-man with a crayon in my mouth. Pity. I don’t want to feel like that.”

“And you never will since you don’t write.”

“Perfect.”

“I’m quite tired and should get going. I have some things to do. I think I’ll start my children’s book today. You’ve inspired me.”

“No no, I aspire. Not inspire.”

“I’ll get started tonight and send you my first draft.”

“I wish you the best of luck. You’ll need it as an armless, legless man. Do you want my email, twitter or anything?”

“When I finish it, I’ll find you.”

“I’m confident you won’t.”

“Find you or finish it?”

“Both.”

“Enjoy your aspiring.”

“Enjoy yours too.”

“I’m a writer.”

“And sooooo am I.”

Why should I write?

I’m not a writer but I write.

My attitude towards writing has changed a lot over the past few years. I’m glad it’s evolved because it’s far more accepting and positive than it was before. In primary school, I hated nearly everything to do with writing. Writing stories, letters, diary entries – you name it. I didn’t like it. I found it boring (and probably difficult) so I never cared about improving it deliberately.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that writing is now my undying passion. I don’t wake up, jump out of my bed and thank Zeus that I have an opportunity to write. I can’t say I’ve found a passion for anything yet. However, that doesn’t prevent me from saying I’ve grown to appreciate writing much more.

Writing is important is because it improves your thinking. We go from a state of confusion to clarity when we write ideas down and change them. We share them with other people and makes sure that our ideas live longer than we could ever hope.

Mastery of the art is difficult. People put hours and hours into improving how their work reads, how their characters develop and how they present information. Sometimes you dislike the process because ideas aren’t appearing as quickly or the sentences read poorly or the perfect word eludes you. But looking back on the final draft on whatever we’ve done is almost relaxing.

We’ve shared our thoughts with other people instead of keeping them locked inside our heads.

I began thinking about this issue because I want to improve my writing. I find it amazing how some writers can approach important issues respectfully while remaining entertaining. Some news reports can change a person’s mind on an issue convincingly or just illuminate an area that we never considered. Academic books and articles can do the same, although they seem to have a limited audience due to the complexity. Retelling stories about places we’ve visited or things we’ve done give us permission to relive the memory. Even if we can’t get the words completely correct,

Writing is beautiful because our minds are. We can help others, inspire them, make them cry, make them laugh and give them the opportunity to learn.

I write because it lets me connect with other people and, perhaps most importantly, it helps me understand myself.