We are all alone in our thoughts, perhaps except for those afflicted with telepathy or madness. Writing is very much a task for the confines of that inner space. But it is also a task that demands release into the wider spaces of the world once it is done. This is the most difficult aspect of being a writer. Taking those inner private workings and then releasing them into the daylight glare of the world. It is absolutely no wonder writing forums and articles lie thick with angst and self-reassurance. What normal person walks up to complete strangers and blurts out their inner most thoughts? And if we continue the analogy, this stranger then corrects our English and sends us away to rethink our words. We then back away and gratefully accept their advice, hopefully not too damaged by the encounter, to try again with another stranger.
In the wider world our endeavours are always assessed, commented upon, compared, and in the writing world this equates to book sales, competition wins, dollars in the bank or literary awards. And yet a writer may have few or none of these things and still be a writer. An artist must paint, a singer must sing, a teacher must teach and a writer must write. If you were a psychologist would you call this an obsession? I don’t know I’m not a psychologist. I can only write the question while I am pondering the processes of writing.
Maybe it is the difference between the person who likes a morning walk everyday and the person who is driven to compete in a marathon against the best. Neither of these people are doing it because a multinational company is going to give them money if they wear a specific graphic on their shirt. But the athlete may very well be able to make a career of running very fast exactly because they can run very fast, and they love to run very fast.
Back to writing.
Writing is about writing. Not about the business of writing. There is no business of writing without the words. So the words come first, always.
Listen to the voice in your head.
You should be writing.
Tea-drinker, writer and editor. Ecologist, environmental scientist, futurist and student of irony.