“The novice pen comes out for birth, death, and lust; it’s almost immaterial whether anyone else appreciates it.” – Susie Bright (from How to Write a Dirty Story p. 83)
In my wanderings trying to find good writing advice, I ran across the above book (which is excellent reading, btw, and will likely be quoted in more than one post), and this statement really resonated with me.
Even though I never considered myself a writer until recently, when I look back over the years I was writing during that time. Just little stories or poems here or there to express some intense emotion or work out my views on life. And sometimes I’d go a few years without writing anything and then something would trigger the instinct to write and I’d sit down with a notepad and a pen or in front of the computer and dash off a few pages of prose.
I realize, now that I think about it, not everyone does that. I’ve heard various people say that if you can do anything other than be an author, you should because the money sucks and you’re opening yourself up for criticism and lots of alone time for the rest of your life. And I’ve always thought, well, I don’t have this intense need to write every day (only for the above-mentioned moments of death and lust), so maybe I’m not one of those people who should be doing this.
But writing is how I express myself and how I grow, so even if I’m never published and no one else ever sees 95% of what I write, I realize now that I am a writer and I need to be one.