I was going to call this blog post 'the power of writing' but I feel like what I want to write about doesn't cover that. We have all probably been told once or twice in our English classes how influential texts can be. There have been texts that have sparked animosity and damaging action. There have been books that have shown us true happiness or pulled us out of an emotional hole. Writing has the ability to influence, damage, inspire and more. A writer who wields the weapon of writing can strike a heavy blow or simply be the support a person needs. However, writing also has the ability to educate and allow people to have a voice. It can show a different perspective and bring to light issues that would otherwise be left in the dark. This is what this post is about, hence the very uncreative title.
As you may have noticed by now, writing has and always will be a major part of my life. It provides me the chance to speak my mind and communicate where I cannot do it vocally. Having the confidence to speak my mind or voice my opinion has always been my weakness. For me, not allowing myself the chance to be ignored is better than physically being ignored, which has happened a lot in the past. I craft my skills so that I cannot be ignored, so the issues and opinions that I want to be publicised are done in a way that I don't have to be vocal and are more permanent than noise in the air. It sounds dramatic but I think fellow writers might understand... hopefully. However, in later years as I transformed into someone more confident, I found another underlying reason on why writing is so important to me. To be able to communicate issues in a way that exposes the truth behind relevant issues and to be a voice for the ignored or voiceless motivates me to continue.
Imagine this: there's an issue you've been faced with that makes you feel isolated. You don't think anyone will understand and when you do speak about it, you're faced with confusion and ignorance. It can be hard. The feeling of loneliness and not being understood is frustrating for everyone, and the only way to combat that is education on the subject. Now imagine you pick up a piece of writing. It could be a book, essay, screen play, poem or diary entry. It's about the issue that you are facing and it hones in on it in such a way that suddenly you realise you're not alone.
You can't tell me that's not important.
Everyone goes through hard times. Some difficulties can push people close to the edge or worse. It's not easy for people to voice these issues. It could be a fear of being judged, laughed at, looked down upon, or any negative reaction. It could be because they can't put their issue into spoken words, their tongues tying as their confidence wanes. For there to be texts that bring relief to the people facing a crisis, issue or difficulty highlights the importance of writing for myself as well as other writers.
Then there's the flip side. Maybe there isn't something out there that can educate people, so it still needs to be written. I know for myself that whenever I find myself in a bad place emotionally or I'm facing a crisis, I take to writing for respite. I never wish to speak or vocalise my feelings in fear of judgement or offending/making someone feel bad. At times I've felt the emotions build and bubble up, which slowly makes me feel like I'm about to explode.
Then, I pick up a pen and I begin to write. I let it all out onto the page. Every word that crosses through my mind and all my emotions are laid bare on the page. It's a euphoric release and my mind clears, and then I look back on the pages I've filled and wonder how it got to that point. For writing to be such a support for me makes it all the more important. It also makes me want to write something that shows this to others, so to inspire them or highlight that the build up can have a release. I want to write something that has the ability to help and to heal, like so many books I have read that have done that for me.
Overall, I think that writing is important to me and many others because it exposes ourselves as well as others to issues in the world that are hard to speak about. It can be personal where, like myself, the art allows a personal release, or it can be public for the world to see and for others to sit back and not feel alone. It educates us on those issues and offers perspectives we'd otherwise never know. In a society where social media creates a voice for the voiceless, writing has the ability to shine a light on the exact issues we fight against and allows global discussion like there has never been before.
I'm not sure if what I'm writing is offering the exact reason as to why writing is so important to me and others. All I know is that when I write I feel like I'm finally being heard and understood, and I think that's something to hold on to.
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Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.