The great cure
“Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago.” — C. S. Lewis
It seems that a great many people don’t like to write, and I find that amazing. Whether I’m writing a letter, an email, a blog post or a grocery list, there is nothing that comes more easily to me (as my patient readers have discovered). That doesn’t mean I’m a good writer; plenty of people who are exceptionally good writers, including my husband and older son, don’t write nearly as much or as often as I do — though I wish they did. And plenty of us who write reams will never be numbered among the gifted, or even the widely published. It’s still a wonderful exercise for the mind, heart and soul.
I agree with Lewis that writing is therapeutic. It benefits the writer, and in some cases, it also benefits those who read the writing. In fact, it can even benefit those who never read it. I have often written poems, stories and letters that I never intended anyone to read. In doing so, I have unburdened myself without unduly burdening others. Thus my unread writings may have benefited those who know me, whether they realize it or not. I’m sure many others could say the same.
But sometimes we have the great good fortune of encountering an author who loves to write, and is very good at doing it. Such writers somehow convey their joy in the writing process without ever mentioning it. Their fluid pace or razor-sharp descriptions imply years of close acquaintance with pen and ink. The act of writing surely served a helpful or joyful end in their own lives, but its greatest contribution by far lies in the untold numbers of people who are led to ponder, rejoice, laugh or cry at the bits of life that have been translated into words through ink coupled with imagination.
If you’re feeling fed up, remember the wise words of my favorite author. Ink (even the electronic version of it) is a great cure. Spend a few minutes confiding your thoughts to a paper or screen. Promise yourself that you can burn, erase or delete anything you don’t want anyone else to see. Then start. You might be surprised how much it will help.