by The Writer
Whether you're young or old as long as you're a writer, you will always be a writer.
AGE DOESN'T MATTER IN WRITING
"I write at eighty-five for the same reasons that impelled me to write at forty-five; I was born with a passionate desire to communicate, to organize experience, to tell tales that dramatize the adventures which readers might have had. I have been that ancient man who sat by the campfire at night and regaled the hunters with imaginative recitations about their prowess. The job of an apple tree is to bear apples. The job of a story teller is to tell stories, and I have concentrated on that obligation."
The good thing about writing is that it isn't covered by time; you can either start early in life or you can begin on the latter part of your existence; it all depends on you. While your brain is still normal and while you can still type on the computer's keyboard using your fingers; you can always be a writer no matter what your age may be. In fact, when it comes to writing, there's no such thing as good or bad timing; it all depends on you. Some writers started early in their life while others started late, many were successful though others have failed; nevertheless, in the final analysis, they're all writers.
There's a saying that, "life begins at forty" and I believe this is true. My passion for writing was heightened when I was in my late thirties though the feeling really started in my late twenties. But the real craving came to me after I reached the age of forty; I'm forty-three now. At this moment, writing is no longer an ordinary passion for me, it's more than that (it's like an insatiable hunger). I thought the yearning was just passing through, but I was wrong since it didn't leave me until now. As I grew old my appetite for writing was intensified even more. The desire was like a ghost that keeps on haunting me day and night. I have no choice but to concede and surrender my whole life to it.
Since age doesn't matter in writing let's talk about the qualities that makes a person a "true" writer despite of his or her age? Technically speaking not all people who can write are writers in the same way that not all who sing a song are singers. You may hold and use the brush of Michael Angelo or the water-color of Leonardo Da Vinci, but even if you do that it'll not make you spontaneously a painter. There are things that makes a painter, painter. The same is true for the writer; there are some dynamics that you need to ascertain before you can call yourself a writer. Can you honestly answer the following questions: Do you have the passion to write? Can you communicate effectively? Can you organize your thoughts and emotions by way of writing? Can you describe events through writing? Can you entertain and educate people through your writing? Finally, do you have the power of consistency? If your answer to all these questions is yes - congratulations, you're indeed a writer.
Whether you're old or young, before you start to write something make sure that you have a passion for writing. Passion is the driving force inside you; it's the unquenchable thirst within. Without passion you'll not be able to write anything worthwhile. Dreaming something won't make it happen, you'll have to go for it. Passion is the prerequisite behind every success. If you're passionately curious about writing, you'll do everything to learn all about the art of writing. In your journey as a writer you'll encounter many obstacles such as self-doubt, low-morale, boredom and many emotional and psychological burdens. Without passion you'll give-up. Passion is the energy inside your heart that will support you during difficult times. Hence, whatever topic you're writing or planning to write, just make sure that you're passionate about it before you embark on your work. The Filipino poet Francisco Balagtas was so passionate about his writings that he was able to finish his classic book called "Florante and Laura" while he was serving his prison term. Because of burning passion countless literary works were accomplished by numerous writers. Nobody can give you the kind of passion that you need, you must create that for yourself. Once you have it, you've got to feed it every day in order to make it grow.
Second to passion is the ability to communicate to your readers. So, you're certain that you have this burning desire to write, now the question is, can you communicate effectively? Your eagerness will only be wasted unless you know how to communicate your idea effectively. Effective communication simply means that your readers understand clearly the message that you're delivering to them. Now, if you want to capture the attention of your prospective readers don't use flowery words instead you must go directly to the point. It doesn't really matter what you're writing; whether it's a novel, poem, essay, corporate report, memorandum or email the fundamental principles are still the same: it must be clear and concise.
So, if you're convinced that you've the passion and the ability to communicate, the second question now is can you organize your thoughts? Organizing your thoughts is an act of consolidating the power of your thinking. Writing is all about communication, but you can only communicate effectively if you know how to organize your thoughts. According to many veteran writers, writing regularly using freewriting (writing fast to record new ideas without paying attention to the accuracy of sentence structure) style is significant in consolidating and organizing your thoughts. Don't worry about your imperfect grammar and spelling, it can be dealt later. Just continue writing especially when the ideas are flowing. The same strategy is applicable when you're experiencing writer's block. Just write and keep on writing, ideas are more important compared to the rules of grammar. The sole objective of freewriting is to force your mind to work in a creative way.
Always remember that, through constant practice, you'll learn gradually how to record and preserve your thoughts which is very vital in writing. Keep on writing all the ideas that enters in your mind no matter how trivial or silly it may look; everything that's connected to your topic, write it down, in the end it'll be useful to you. And of course, you've got to do more reading and research.
As a writer, your main goal is to entertain and to educate your readers; because of this, any writing project whether it is long or short should be done methodically. You owe it to your readers. Don't forget that the length and size of your writing is immaterial, what matters most is the substance of the content.
Consistency is power; your talent and skill are useless unless you know how to utilize it consistently. The cardinal rule is, once you start something you must finish it. Therefore, your reliability as a writer must be sustainable. Consistency is the trademark of a true writer. Vacillation and dilly-dallying attitude is the worst enemy of any writers; you've got to overcome these bad habits.
If you call yourself a writer, please do write; the job of the gardener is to supervise the garden, the role of the farmer is to plough the land - every person has an obligation in life that he needs to fulfill. Your task is to write, don't waste that opportunity while there's time. Seize the day (carpe diem) my dear writer, seize the day!
As you go along, always bear in mind this important reminder. Be the best of what you are, always be true to yourself. What I mean is, don't try to be a novelist if your niche is in writing essays and articles. Or shall I say that, it's nice to be a copywriter but it'll not work for you if you're not interested in business matters like marketing and advertising. And of course, it's a wonderful idea to dream of becoming a poet or lyricist yet you must honestly ask yourself whether you really love writing verses or not. In a nutshell, don't follow the shadow of other writers; you can study their life and works but don't try to be exactly like them; you'll get frustrated. Instead, find your own calling and you'll be happy and successful.
If in case you'll have to choose between knowledge and wisdom, I say go for wisdom. Great writings in history were the by-product of wisdom, not just knowledge. Read the writings of the philosophers (example: Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Plato, Aristotle and many others) and you'll feel the power of their wisdom echoing through the pages of their works. Knowledge is important but it's the wisdom of the writer that gives life and immortality to his works. Take for instance the epistles of Paul the apostle (the true founder of the Christian religion), his epistles were written in a very simple and conversational way. Notice that the tone of Paul's writings can be likened to a father who's reading a story book filled with moral lessons to his children. Nevertheless, it can't be denied that no matter how simple and concise the presentation of his epistles, we can still feel today the wisdom of Paul's words resonating from the distant past.
Finally, I shall conclude this essay by saying that, the age of the person is just a factor, it doesn't really matter when it comes to his writing. Whether you'll still be alive for the next ten, twenty, thirty or forty years is not important. The important thing is that you believe in yourself, you believe that you're a writer. Use that belief as your point of departure in your journey through the exciting world of writing. The essence of living is not confine to the number of years but on how you live your life throughout those years. Life is brief, ephemeral and monotonous; let's not waste it by squandering our talent and skills. As writers, let's celebrate the beauty of life by sharing our thoughts to others through our works.