Writers have changed through the ages. That is, of course, inevitable considering the course of history, but I don’t mean they’ve changed due to technology or current events. Writers today think differently about writing.
In the past writing was a channel; it carried the thoughts of one mind to be processed by a million others. It was the tool used to craft a masterpiece of rationale; the writing was not an end in itself. It was not a voice for the sake of expression. It was the expression of an individual voice.
Present or past, foolishness will be written. There are countless pages, likely the work of long nights and longer thought, that prove nothing and mean even less. But today it seems that the quota has greatly increased. Consider writing handbooks, for instance: they consist of quotes and quaint lines on self-expression or inward thought, ideas to ‘get you writing’. My question is: if you can’t think of what you want to write, then why raise your voice when you have nothing to say?
The best writing through history has been motivated by an urgent desire to get a message across succinctly for a specific result. So much writing today is the product of confused and depressed minds, providing no encouragement for its readers, much less motivation to better themselves. Of what benefit are a writer’s personal, depression-cloaked musings but to sadden the joyful reader and plunge an identifier into further despair?
They write just to write. That’s what writers are told to do. It is true we sometimes have to write to keep the craft in practice, disciplining ourselves and the skill we hope to gain. But truly, does the world really want to hear the full vent of your anger and depression? How will this contribute to a greater good or worldly peace? All it does is plant one’s work in the desert of self-expression, to be honored by a narrow audience of those who likewise wish to wallow in their pain.
If all depressed writers would acknowledge what they do, they may write to free others from what apparently is a very dissatisfying existence. They would write not just to write, but to tell the world a message worth hearing; one to motivate, one to encourage, and one to inspire them toward the better and the best.