Truth: I hate writing.
At least, I used to hate what I thought was writing.
You see, I was taught to differentiate between the act of writing and the act of storytelling; I thought they were two separate things. Really, they’re not.
At least, they shouldn’t be.
I think too often we approach writing from a purely academic stance: writing for the sake of writing, learning and using the fundamentals of sentence structure and grammar as nothing more than a mental exercise. It becomes too intellectual, and most of us miss the point…
…which is that what we’re really doing is storytelling.
If we approach writing from the standpoint of storytelling, our entire view changes.
Suddenly, we’re not regurgitating information, we’re crafting. Honing. Turning words into an art form, into something the communicates and connects with people on a deeper, more emotional level.
Do we need to learn — and in turn, teach — the fundamentals of sentence structure, spelling, and grammar in order to be our best writing selves? Yes. But at the same time we need to learn — and teach — how to integrate storytelling into those things. It’s like two sides of one coin: Writing on one side and Storytelling on the other. The coin itself is called Communication.
Your writing isn’t worth much if you can’t tell a story.
In fact, if you can’t use your words to craft a story, your writing will fail to communicate with your readers. That’s as much true for a blog post about your Halloween party as it is for a novel about dragons and elves.
So I guess what I mean when I say that I hate writing is really that I hate this half-assed idea we often have of writing. I hate that you and I often succumb to this idea, and I hate that we teach it to our kids in school. Damn, that’s a lot of hate!
I want to love writing instead, and I want others to learn to do the same. And I think if we start to see writing and storytelling as the same thing, we can do just that.