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February 3, 2019

Why being a writer is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle

The fact that I am a writer shouldn’t come as a surprise if you know me or if you laid eyes on my social media accounts for at least 5 seconds (if you didn’t, do it now; I’ll pretend I didn’t tell you to). But I never refer to my writing as JUST my job, even if as a freelancer that is what I do to pay bills. I also write books to pay bills. And I also collaborate with certain publications…to pay bills. But besides paying bills, which is a strong reasons to do many things on a daily basis, I also write because I AM a writer.

Being a writer is a form of living. For some people, life is hard, almost impossible, to deal with unless you have a keyboard. Or, if you are a more old fashioned writer, pen and paper. A writer, any kind of writer, will understand the pleasure of writing when no one is listening. This type of silent communication can be a pervasive pleasure for those who choose to fill pages with pieces of their mind and soul. And when you see writing as a form of communication, it becomes part of you, not just part of your work, because communication roots deeply in our human nature, more than in any other species.

But writing also comes from struggles. Those struggles that some of us are facing maybe more than others. No one became a writer out of an ordinary life. No one followed the rules IMPOSED by the society they were born in, agreeing with everything they were educated to agree with, living the life they were told to live, and became a writer. Because writing is a process of Questioning, Exploring and Discovering the universe within yourself and the universe outside yourself. Unless you know what’s inside of you, you will never be able to translate it into thoughts and gather those thoughts into a book, or an article. Writing is not about what others made you believe, think or do. And I don’t mean that everything we were taught is wrong by any means. I am a reasonable person who appreciates facts that are based on logic and evidence and I support science in all its forms just like I support a more philosophical approach toward the world. This skill is a direct consequence of my mathematical way of thinking that I developed in school and that I believe to be essential for everyone who wants to build conclusions of their own regarding different subjects. Writing will help you see MORE (not less) than you were educated to see, meaning that for a writer, education is mandatory but not sufficient (damn, I sound like a drunk teacher now).

And when you start structuring your mind in these terms, writing becomes a way of thinking, a way of communicating with others and a way to express yourself in a very nude manner. I think the sexiest form of nudity is when you manage to keep your clothes on and your mind naked. Not many can do that and when I find someone who can undress their mind, I instantly fall into the temptation to drink coffee with them.

For those who believe that I tend to glorify the act of writing to horizons wider than they actually are, I invite them to grab a blank paper and write something creative. Not something they heard before and not something they experienced directly. Unlock the basement of your mind and see what you find there. It will hurt you. It will terrify you. It will also make you cry. But it will not kill you. And to quote one of my favourite writers/philosophers , “ What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!” (F. Nietzsche). No, this aphorism is not a Kelly Clarkson one. Even if I believe Kelly got a Grammy for the song with the same titles while Friedrich got…a migraine.

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Irina Maria Tracy  |  Contribution: 245