The Folded Paper
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The Folded Paper

Caring for Writing: Start with the ‘Why’

Writing is not an easy thing to do. Will never be too. For many reasons,

We set ourselves tall goals and expectations that are unrealistic to achieve in a day or week or a year. We write stories that open up a dam of suppressed emotions and we get carried away. We write bland stories because the bullets of metaphors (the only bullets that we want to be hit by) whiz past us without hitting us. We might have depleted the strength to endure with the sound of the silence needed to write. At times, we simply can’t write.

All these make most of us fearful of writing. But we can turn the table by caring for writing, by being concerned about it and its outcome, and the impact it can have. Caring for its flow, the meaning, and the words. Caring for it like a friend.

Caring starts with identifying the ‘why’ for writing. It is as much, if not more, important as the ‘what’ of writing — what topics, what about inspiration, what is the quality of the writing, and so on.

The ‘what’ is like the moon, the moon wanes and waxes; our motivation will deplete and form again. On a few days, we will write uninhibitedly. On others, even a ‘Hi Diary’ will seem exhausting. But, the ‘why’ is a north star, the bright and clear goal that we want to achieve. If we get the ‘why’ of writing figured out, we will be on track to tackle the fluctuations in the ‘what’. The ‘why’ is the purpose, the ‘what’ is the path to the purpose.

The fear might not vanish as we start caring for writing, but we will be able to better handle the fear and the fluctuations in our ability to produce words that make sense.

To show you a few examples of ‘why’, I am sharing my two reasons, the ‘why’s’, that help me care for my writing.

1. For me writing is a commonplace miracle

Writing is a commonplace miracle, both ordinary and extraordinary. As I am writing, there are many more people who are writing. But what is the probability that any of us will come up with the same series of words?

Even still, what is the probability that I will again write the exact words that I wrote for an article on a book that changed how I write, a few months back?

And this thought astonishes me — what I had written was a small miracle in itself, which I didn’t appreciate enough back then. That was a snapshot of my mind’s workings at that precise moment. That moment had many variables — a moving car, humid air, setting sun, slipping day, movement of tectonic plates, and misery and happiness in different parts of the world. Yet, with so many variables, I somehow captured a most exact copy of my thoughts on an online document in a digital corner of the public Cloud that expands to a space unfathomable.

When I am writing, I am creating unique sentences and stories, but so are many more writers creating unique sentences and stories worldwide.

Writing isn’t words resting on a paper, but it is charged electrons transferring energy and bringing positive changes.

And it is thrilling for me to be in such commonplace miracles.

Book suggestion: Natalie Goldberg calls everything ordinary and extraordinary in “Writing Down the Bones”. A book that inspires me to write with more love and care.

2. With writing I (we) can connect with and have an impact on others

Writing is basically communication, a transfer of information. In other words, it isn’t words resting on a paper, but it is charged electrons transferring energy and bringing positive changes.

When we write, we could understand ourselves better and share ideas. Writing could lead to somewhere. With well thought-out writing, we can find answers, heal, share our feelings, or close a client deal. It can change the world as we know. It can inspire, educate, and entertain.

Sitting in front of our laptops, we can connect and move a person who is 12 hours away by flight. And that is a power I want to use judiciously and often.

What are your ‘ Why’s ‘? Have you thought about them?

I shared my ‘why’s’. Were you able to resonate with them? If not, then that is fine - we can have our own unique ‘why’s’ that make us care for our writing.

To find your ‘why’, think about what makes you really happy in the process of writing. What fills you with purpose and fulfillment? If you will be writing even after 5 years from now, why will that be?

The Folded Paper Memoir

The Folded Paper Memoir is an attempt to show how we learnt or practice what we preach.

Our writing group’s ‘why’ is to make writing more mainstream and to write more than before. This helps us readjust our vision whenever we drift away from it by making writing complicated for our audience. We ideate activities and prompts that make writing enjoyable enough so that writers write a little more than before.

The Folded Paper Writing Prompt

Our workshops and community meetings are filled with fun writing activities. In this blog too, we want to leave you with some activity based on the blog’s main message.

What are your ‘why’s’ that make you care for your writing? Share in the comments section.

About The Folded Paper

We want to make writing more mainstream and pleasurable for everyone. Follow us on @thefoldedpapergroup on Instagram to combine your writing journey with ours.

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Harini JBL

Practicing writing for the kitchen and the soul | Creative Content Writer at MediaAgility & Co-Creator at The Folded Paper, Writing Community