For the past week, I’ve been pondering the place of positivity within a field like writing. It should come as no surprise that writers can be very prickly people; we are quick, we are sharp, and when focused on words, it’s difficult to keep the human part of the equation in mind. Being critical is at the heart of being a good writer. The more critical we are, the better we are.
But how true is that statement when we turn our criticism inwards? We beat ourselves up over every passage, every poor choice of words, and that begins to take its toll elsewhere. Even if the writing isn’t bad at all – even if our worst still far outstrips another’s best – we feel the consequences of our actions on our emotions, our personality, and our ego. It amounts to self-flagellation, and we’re tricking ourselves into thinking it’s constructive. Are the resultant scars the only way to prove to the world that we are worthy writers?
I don’t think so. We are creators of worlds. We have spent countless hours whittling away at our words, polishing our prose, and perfecting our paragraphs. Even the most mundane writer can impress a layperson with their expertise and perspective. We accomplish what few people dare, and fewer succeed at – bringing hundreds of pages of writing to life. Writers are mystics and shamans, but even more so. We can pull back the curtains. We can lay our days, months, and years of work bare to the world. We can explain everything – and often do – to the point of exhaustion.
The world is still amazed. Why? There is a hidden majesty to words, calling back to the days before we wrote, before we drew, when we were huddled around fires in the cold reaches of time, dreaming of no more than the next meal. We praised gods, told stories, and made tribes from nothing. Words are our most primal form of communication, and to scratch them down into these little glyphs and sigils still has an almost magical air to it – when done right.
Allow your inner voice a chance to say that, every now and then. Be reminded that anybody can put words on a page; but what you do with them is nothing short of magic.