An Essay About Writing (well, sort of)

July 31, 2008
By Cory Saul, San Clemente, CA

We all have various reasons for doing it, and we all have different styles, but chances are that if you are reading this, you enjoy writing as much as I do. Whether it is an attempt to escape from the trauma of everyday life (that’s me!) or simply an act of self-expression, I am still happy to be writing to a group of people who share my passion. So here I am, about to write an entire essay on writing. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? I guess I’m about to find out.
I think its safe to say that almost all people that enjoy writing are relatively creative. And I have learned that if there is only one thing a creative person must do in life, it is to express himself. Therefore, we creative people spend our early years groping around at various hobbies including, but not limited to, cooking, playing music, writing, model building, painting, drawing, sculpting, humor, sports, and legos, until we finally find one that we are either naturally good at, or that we enjoy immensely. From the list I mentioned, I actually found two things that I wanted to express myself through, and unfortunately the chance of finding a paying job in the lego field is extremely thin. Therefore I turned to writing, because I find that it is the easiest way for me to influence the feelings and emotions of other people. Isn’t that what writing is all about? You hardly ever do it for yourself; it’s the reader that you are trying to grab, inspire, influence, frighten, excite, or empower. The simple act of sparking another individual’s imagination through my work is relative to a stand-up comedian seeing the crowd doubled over in laughter, or a musician receiving a standing ovation. It’s like a high, and while I started writing on my own to escape the troubles of life, I kept writing because of this high. It is a physical feeling so triumphant and so satisfying, that for maybe a split second, you know exactly why you are alive; why you are on Earth. I dunno, I guess if you’re a writer, or a comedian, or a musician, you might be able to see where I’m coming from.
While we may have that passion for writing in common, I am not saying that we are alike in any way. Our styles of writing are different, and even if you are trying to write exactly like a famous author writes, that style is as much yours as the fingerprint on your left thumb, or the endless contours of your personality. Your writing style, or voice, is shaped by the books you have read, the teachers you have worked under, the music you have listened to, and other things, including your personality, which is shaped by your family, your friends, your environment, and your astronomical sign, if you believe that sort of thing, plus the various things God has instilled into you, again, if you believe that sort of thing. While your voice may be dark, descriptive, complex, and depressing, mine is simple, ironic, philosophical, and incredibly informal. I’m not sure anything I write out of class could be considered an essay, simply because of the multitude of rules my teachers have set forth (hence the name of this “essay”). This brings me to my next point: every single person that writes on his own is an individualist, and if there is one thing individualist hate, it’s rules. People like you and me make our own rules, which is why I am intentionally writing in multiple points of view, using contractions, and not attempting to follow any theories of proper essay paragraph format. It’s just the way I am, and if you prefer to write in a more formal diction, that’s just the way you are, and I can’t wait to read some of your stuff.
Continuing my stereotypical look at the audience of this “essay,” I would say that most people reading this are a little bit “out there,” like me! Unfortunately, there is an extremely thin line between creativity and insanity. It is common knowledge that some of the most brilliant literary minds were also completely loony. Hemmingway, Bukowski, Poe, they inspired generations with an alternate way of thinking, or an interesting new voice. It just goes to show that if you want to write or even express creativity for a living, you should be prepared to go a little bonkers, that is, if you want to go down in history. I’m ready. In fact, my mind is so out of wack right now that I’m not sure if I have anything left to lose. I’m constantly over thinking, imagining, twitching, and dreaming that I’m not sure if I know how to be “normal” anymore. My ambition has planned out my entire future, and the only thing keeping me from it is time. I’m constantly brewing up situations in my head that would make an excellent story, and the drama of life only adds to this ever-growing pile of raw material I call inspiration. Nevertheless, I find comfort in these few lines at the end of a poem by Charles Bukowski: “Some people never go crazy. / What truly horrible lives / They must lead.” (Some People)
Well, there you go: I just wrote about writing. Has this “essay” inspired you to write something? Has it influenced you to imagine a better way to write an essay about writing? If so: good. My work here is done.

Similar Articles


This article has 1 comment.

GeorgiaM.E said...
on Feb. 27 2009 at 2:16 pm
:D I loved this! This was entertaining during the boring school hours early in the morning. (Haha!) Like you, I love to write. :]

Parkland Book