Online and elsewhere, writers love to complain. Writers complain about themselves, about each other, about the world, technology, and really anything else there is to complain about. If you had never written creatively before, it may seem like writing is just torturing oneself for some pixels on a laptop monitor.
What's The Point?
Really, what is it? If writing is as painful and soul crushing as many of us portray it to be... what's the point? Why bother to put yourself through that for so little in return. Why do people keep writing, and why should you keep or start writing yourself?
Writing is, first and foremost, something that has multiple meanings and processes. No one writes the same things and no one defines writing the same way. A fiction writer who focuses primarily on children's literature as a hobby will have a different reasoning for why they keep working than a nonfiction writer who writes listicles online as a way of generating income. Some people its money, creative output, stress relief, entertainment, or something else. Rarely is it any one thing that keeps people writing, and therefore it is one thing that starts people writing. Even if you say that you want to start writing as a creative output, things like wanting to gain attention or make some money on the side will eventually pop up as things that push you forward. As they can push you forward, they can also push you back. Any drive can make you question whether or not you really want to be driven by it.
You should start writing if you have any drive or consideration at all to start writing. Just write. And then let yourself collect the other things that then push you forward. In example, if you start out writing fiction and then decide to focus more on editorial writing because you enjoy the passion you have towards arguing in the comment sections of your work, then that's just another reason you want to write.
Everyone wants to feel like the anguish they feel writing is a necessity to keep writing. The complaining and the anxiety, projected out loud to Twitter followers and readers alike, is for many people part of the passion they have towards writing. Whether or not this should be so is up in the air. Generally, if something makes one miserable there's good reason to step back and reconsider why one is doing it. Is there really value in writing if you aren't enjoying it at all? But just because someone else might not find that value, or may struggle through it, doesn't mean it should turn anyone off from writing.
Some may say that others' struggles with writing should be further drive for you to keep writing or to start writing. This can cause a toxic cycle of writing to feel like a better writer than someone else. You're allowed to feel complex emotions about your work and your career. There's no real solid definition of what a driven writer actually is. Passion and drive are both relative terms, self defined by the writer themselves and the system that they live in.
Just as you have the right to write regardless of anyone's thoughts on whether or not it is worth your time, you also have the right not to write if you don't want to. Writing is something good and should be good, but if you don't want to write, there's no moral or ethical obligation you have to it as a concept. Of course, you may have an obligation to writing in some other way, but the hobbyist writer should not feel held up to self standards that require them to keep writing.
A writer is a writer but they are also a person. A person is not just the things they do, the money they earn, or the things they create. A person is a person, and people deserve freedom from strife and the ability to stop writing.
It is all up to you. Don't let yourself be discouraged by the seemingly collective amounts of dread and anxiety involving writing, but also don't be eaten up by ambition that takes away your personhood for the sake of being a writer.
oceanuniverse from California on April 06, 2021:
Thank you for sharing I really enjoyed what you had to say and I completely agree with you!