He sat, staring, wondering what it was.
“Deer,” he finally said as he looked at what remained from the meat.
Today, he is the king of hunters. The chief of his tribe. Today should be remembered for the whole world to see.
He felt a burning desire to leave something. A symbol, a sign.
He took out a stick, dipped it into the pool of blood before him, and began drawing on the cave wall.
A picture. At least it was something.
And thus the journey began with translating our experiences into drawings, evolving later into symbols, then finally into words that can be articulated and pronounced.
To be kept. To be preserved. To slowly but surely build the mountain of knowledge that makes up the world we live in today.
To tell generations that follow: I was here. My life mattered.
Srry in a meeting. Ttyl. Thanks.
Humans are not innately attuned to communicate with letters or symbols. We are vocal communicators. We listen, we talk, we share experiences with each other using facial expression and body language. But as soon we began translating our experiences into symbols and words, writing became one of the primary ways we communicate with.
There is an etiquette to writing. Just like there is one for speaking.
I’m sorry your dad passed away. I send you my condolences.
You’re seriously just going to send that without giving him a call?
Then again, like any form of communication, writing has become a field on its own. It has its professionals, its gurus, its critics. People who claim to have mastered its craft and mapped out its science.
“Writing isn’t something you master, it’s a craft that you’ll spend the rest of your life working on.” — Patricia Bray
Nonetheless, writing remains a vehicle of expression that cannot be contained by anyone. It is free to use by those who have the capacity to express with letters. Much like the primitive fellow who so deeply desired to express his triumph by drawing on a cave wall 3,500 years ago, this desire remains today: to express and to be heard.
We all want to leave a trail. A mark. So that one day, someone treading along the path will see our message. And then maybe, just maybe, we will be remembered.
Writing isn’t for writers. Writing is for everyone. To express without feeling judged. To share without feeling obliged.
Write about what happened last night, or the creep you met on the elevator. Write about home, about happiness, or how you met your wife.
Write about how lonely you are. Or how you plan on changing the world.
Or like me, write about writing.
Just pick up a pen dammit, and write.