In case you weren’t aware, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and tis the season of love. In light of this holiday, I thought I’d share fourteen of the many reasons I love writing. You are being warned. This post is gushy, sappy, and probably just a little bit sentimental.
1. I love living vicariously through my characters.
One of my favourite things is having a secondhand experience for something I would never be able to experience in real life. I don’t have much hope of becoming a dragonrider, or rebel queen, or pirate on the high seas, but my characters can go on those adventures for me, and I get to come along for the ride.
2. I love the ability to create worlds and bring them to life.
World building is so close to my heart and one of my favourite parts of writing is getting to develop cultures and societies. I love building races and histories often based on what I’m learning about world history while I’m in school. There’s something so wonderfully geeky about looking up the population of a city and its typical holiday cycle that I made up years ago and are rediscovering when a character decides to visit that city on a quest.
3. I love the dynamic between writers and readers.
It’s so amazing to see such a wide range of people gather around a single topic like books. Whether writers, readers or both, the community is a family of diverse backgrounds and views and there are so many friends to make along the way.
4. I love being able to empathise so deeply with the figments of my imagination.
When my characters hurt, I hurt. When they get excited you can be sure I’m jumping up and down in giddy joy. And when they are scared, my stomach is flopping all over the place with them. But what’s so cool about that for me is the fact that these characters come from my head and still have this enormous emotional impact on me.
5. I love that others can empathise so deeply with the figments of my imagination.
It gives my heart joy to see people interacting with my characters and stories with the same level of emotional connection as me. When they tell me who they are shipping or what story arc they are most excited to read about, my heart soars.
6. I love that there are no boundaries or limits about what I can write.
I’m allowed to tackle really tough topics involving mental health, religion, and trauma, but I can also just write stories that speak to me. I can write stories as prose or poetry, in a variety of styles while mixing and bending the rules of genre and literary form. I love that flexibility in writing.
7. I love the beauty of words. Not just arranged in sentences, but the richness of language both metaphorically and physically.
In terms of the physical, Elyse and Elise are not the same name even if they technically are the same name. I love that English does that. But also, I love the emotional response that comes from words like serenity, throttle, mist, or stagger. There’s something absolutely beautiful about the way letters arranged into words can evoke such intense responses. (Which is why I’m a self-proclaimed logophile)
8. I love being able to share what matters to me through made-up stories.
These things most often come out in the themes I typically write about. Sacrifice. Redemption and forgiveness and anything involving motifs about light and darkness or keys and secrets get me all excited. But on a more serious note, these themes, which I believe are highly important can come about in such bizarre ways which add an extra layer of depth to the complex subtleties of writing that I adore so much.
9. I love when I begin to see a story take form and see every connection that’s been made.
Connections. Intertextuality. Context. These words are like diamonds to me. Seeing my characters finally fit into the world I’ve created for them, or how one character’s story perfectly influences another character from a completely separate story makes my excitement level reach astronomical heights.
10. I love that writing can suspend the scepticism of the impossible.
So maybe dragons aren’t real. But when I’m writing, impossible things suddenly become reachable and there’s something magical about making impossible things possible through story.
11. I love that history is written through stories and that our history will live on through stories.
History is one of my greatest joys. Stories are one of my greatest joys. But even greater a joy is when history and stories come together. Even better, we get to take part in history by sharing our stories—both fictional and non-fictional. What could be better?
12. I love how real something fictional becomes.
In the deepest crevice of my heart I’m still waiting for a wardrobe to take me to Narnia. That idea of breathing in a created world so much that it actually becomes a part of your daily life is something I aspire to create for readers one day. If one day I hear even one person say they wish they could wake up in Consealia, then I’ve done my job as a writer.
13. I love being able to express my deepest sorrows, darkest fears, and most simple joys through writing.
Part of the reason I love this is because of how equally vulnerable yet anonymous it is. Clearly I haven’t gone through every trial or happiness as my characters, but being able to take the essence of my pain or gladness and give it new life through writing is incredibly freeing and therapeutic.
14. I love that my love of writing can be used to bring honour to God and what he’s done for me.
For me, writing and telling stories is one of the greatest gifts God has given me, and it’s a gift I can use to bring praise to him and the things he has done for me. And I am so thankful for a God that loves and gives love to his people through their passions and gifts.
And there you have it–a compressed list of a few of the reasons why I love writing. What is it about writing that you love?