Ever since I was a little kid, I loved to write. Writing has always been one of the things that I never tired of, even when I was struggling with it or writing essay after essay for class. I kept a dairy when I was little, until the stories from my life turned into my first ever short story. Now my notebooks followed a pair of twins and their desperate attempt to get back to their mother after getting lost in a magical forest (seriously, seven year old me had a flair for the dramatics. I'd love to find this notebook again). I wrote bad poetry about my crushes in the margins of math worksheets, and wrote long, sentimental birthday cards to the people I really cared about. Now, I have a computer filled with prompt ideas and unfinished think pieces that I hope to get back to one day. I have Word files filled with plotlines and characters that I hold near and dear to my heart, and essays that I wrote in a panic the night before it was due.
I can create worlds and share my opinions, but what makes writing so special to me is that I don't just get a voice – I have a voice. This is me, how I speak, how I write. This is the way I want people to read my work. I want people to feel like they're talking to a good friend, but also someone who (hopefully) knows a little bit about stringing words together. You not only express yourself through your content, but through your style. Every author has their own style, and it makes writing an art form. Just like imitating a person's art style, I can study the patterns their words make and become someone entirely new.
Take a really gothic, dramatic author. I'm thinking good old 1820s, maybe read in a British accent. After all, it doesn't take much to become another person, to peel away the dry, dismal mask that defines one man and step into another's. It is morose, but isn't that all anyone does – imitate one another until we wear a concoction of others' styles – their ideas? Does anyone have a true, original thought, or do we pick and choose from those around us and paint our faces with their personality, only to shed to when something new piques our interests?
Seven year old me also had a different writing style – proof that our writing voice constantly changes. I wrote differently. I wrote in short sentences. I did not like to write with words I couldn't spell. I wrote about my day. I wrote about my friends. Me and my friends climbed a tree yesterday. I want to buy ice cream tonight.
Or you could choose to follow a more traditional path,
Settling on blank verse and words that spill from you as though
If they stayed in you any longer you would burst!
And oh, the fascinating way you might change who you are
With just a slight of hand.
Or, you could write like you're a team member for Buzzfeed, where everything is LOUD and EXCITING, and you've got to connect with the Gen Z kids, right? So you use, like, the word like in a sentence even though you clearly didn't need to do that. Or you could write like you're texting your best friend. Punctuation? nah this way is wayyyyyy more fun. it adds emotion in ways that the old authors from decades ago could never grasp. they're probably rolling in their graves rn if they knew we were putting emojis in the dictionary oops oh wELL
I love to write. I always have and always will. I think that writing is truly an art form, and it's amazing that anyone can just pick up a paper and pencil and just go for it. There is no right or wrong, and every person has the potential to make something that's important to them. Language is constantly changing and I'm so happy that I get to experience it and struggle to write a piece just like guys who wrote epics hundreds of years ago did. Because no matter what, it's worth it in the end. You get to be a part of an art form that really showcases who you are.