When it comes to writing, I’m stubborn and spoiled. I’ve always reserved writing for those who have something to write about. I’ve never considered myself a person with something to say. Why should I write if I have nothing to say? Why should I express my thoughts in writing if they have no purpose?
This all sounds sort of depressing (believe me, I’m okay), but I think there’s some truth to it. I have always held the belief that the best books are those that are clearly very real; those that are written by an author who actually lived whatever it is that he or she is writing about. Examples: On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Obviously, there are many many exceptions to this definition of “good books,” but generally, I think the idea holds.
Anyway, for the longest time, I was basically just waiting for something to write about. I figured when I become a resident in the hospital, I’ll write a book about my experiences or something. Maybe then I’ll have something to say.
But lately, I realized that the event is much less important than the way it’s told — Writing 220 has shown me this. I have learned to make something from seemingly-unimportant events and memories from my past. Take my previous examples: On the Road is about a few relatively eventless trips across the US, and The Sun Also Rises is about a fishing trip in Spain and a bull-fight. (Admittedly, In Cold Blood stands as an insane story, but nonetheless it would just be another murder if the story was not told so brilliantly.)
So I guess, my bold proclamation is that writing is not for those who have experienced, but for those who, with courage, can say they’ve experienced. “Write” is a verb, after all. If you want to be a writer, you can’t just wait around for something to write about.