You are a writer, a bearer of truth, and your pen carries the responsibility of creation, of placing down on paper the fleeting ghosts of your imagination. As such, you possess something that cannot be learned or taught, bought or acquired. It is a craft that comes only through suffering. Through the painstaking process of selecting the right words to express a feeling or situation, like singling out individual droplets of water in the depths of the ocean. During the creation process, your thoughts reach out their arms like lost souls from the River Lethe, trying to grip at your curiosity, at the feeling in your mind that compels your hand to write down moments of inspiration. Immerse yourself in these thoughts, those that are submerged deep in your soul, haunted by visions, voices and virtue.
However, there will be times when you’ll feel like your mind has become as dry of inspiration as your pen of ink. During these moments of drought, the estuaries from whence ideas usually emanate feed a stream of fears, doubts on whether another idea will flounder its way into your brain once more, or whether the last piece that you wrote was your last. In this darkest of hours, swim against the current and drown out these insecurities, as the profundity of your creativity is only as deep as you will it to be. It is from your mind that universes are created and destroyed, perfected and dissected, used and reused until they are refined into a distilled line of poesy that casts a spell upon the eyes of whomever reads it. Your talent is a truth that cannot be quieted, one that will not quit, and will acquit you amidst the scrutiny of time and taste. Suffer for your writing because unless you do, no one will suffer it.
Don’t mind the likes and dislikes of an inattentive and fickle online community that, like crashing waves, seems to follow an indeterminate pattern that crushes anything it its way. Write so that you are satisfied with your work, so that you can go to sleep knowing that what you have committed from your mind onto paper can only be improved upon the next time you open your eyes. Ultimately, people don’t want to read what you write, they don’t want to read what you think. They want to read you. They want your blood, your bones, your flesh on a page. Therefore, be generous with your skill, but not indulgent. Share what you know, but only enough that the reader may be satisfied, and even want more. Conjure images that are better imagined than seen, and sensations that only the pen can describe and the heart feel. Don’t allow the greed of your desk drawer to deprive the world of your unique perspective.
An onslaught of rejections will make you question why you’re even bothering in perfecting a craft that nobody will ever appreciate, and producing work that no one will ever read. Well, it is not your job to fit into anything. Your creativity should know no bounds. You’ve already limited yourself to the confines of the language and its grammar, and the prepackaging elements of a word, sentence, paragraph, and page. In spite of it all, write. Shut out the critics that belittle your work, especially the critic that resides comfortably inside your head, the cruelest of them all. The one that will cripple you from within, freeze your hand and thoughts from populating the white screen before you, with its blinking cursor steadily taunting you. Even in the torrential agony of rejection, keep writing. You’ll often find that your mode of expression is “not quite right” for most people or publications, but just try to remember why you’re writing in the first place. Is it like breathing to prove that you can breathe or is it breathing because you’d die if you didn’t?
Write because you need to, not because you have to. Write because there is nothing else in this world that will quell the restlessness that effervesces within your innermost being every time you see something that everybody else sees, but goes unappreciated. Give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves and provide the rest of us with ears to listen. Allow the mediums by which your work is disseminated to come and go— from spoken word to solid stone, to papyrus and animal hide, paper to cursor— but never allow the creativity that you inhabit them with to stray away from who you truly are or the message you are trying to convey. Write even if nobody is reading. Write especially because nobody is reading.
Be a force that transforms harsh realities into something palliative, like a river’s waters whose gentle surface conceals the violent currents that smooth jagged stones on the riverbed, softening them silken to the touch.
It is your duty as a writer to write what is in you, as it is a mother’s to nurse her newborn and a prophet’s to profess the truth.
A truth that can be rejected, criticized, and buried for hundreds of years— by rubble or online babble— but one that can never be silenced or denied.
An endless truth that will continue to flow through generations, uncertain and unbiased of what influence its course will have upon the landscape of human history.
So, just write.