A person who wants to become a better writer has to write often, and read even more. It may interest you to know that I developed a taste for writing long before I found pleasure in reading. This is probably due to the daily six hours of television I watched throughout my childhood. It’s hard to convince a boy that he will find more fulfillment in a book than he will from Nickelodeon. Yet, despite television’s tyranny, I turned to writing as an outlet for creative expression. I found that I could write well enough, and people seemed to get a kick out of it.
Honestly, it wasn’t until college that I developed an insatiable hunger for books. There came a point where I recognized the beauty and, though it sounds cheesy, the magic of literature. I saw that books could be more than stories and characters. They were built upon an intricate structure. There was freedom and potential locked within style. I fell in love with the written word.
It’s a curious thing that while I developed a love for words, I worked on a magazine called Logos. Logos means “word”. The Logos that the magazine was named after is Jesus Christ. He is called “the Word” in one of the gospels. My love for both the Word and the written word grew much at this time.
Toward the end of my college career, essay writing became more pleasurable. I wanted to present a thesis as clearly as possible while infusing my own style. I found a way to satisfy the requirements and a need for thoughtful expression. The craft itself thrilled me.
I write because it is a practical wonder. The ability to communicate well can never be underrated. It serves the giver and the receiver. The giver is better equipped to understand their own thoughts, beliefs, and environment. The receiver benefits from the clarity. Effective communication connects people. Alongside this practical element, writing is also a wonder. I don’t stop at each word to consider its meaning and potential meaning within the sentence (sometimes). It usually just happens. It’s as if my mind was working one step ahead of the rest of me. I’m my own audience. When I see it on the page, it is new life. It’s a new creation. It’s a wonder. A channel of heart and mind.
Words have great power. This power must be respected. Too much control, and the writing becomes stale and distracting. Too little control, and it becomes chaotic and distracting. You must saturate yourself with the written word if it’s going to pour out of you naturally. Then, once it’s out, filter the impurities through editing. Read it for the first time. Use all of the tools at your disposal to craft something rich and beautiful.
It’s a practical wonder.