It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that the only articles the public read were in the New York Times, Washington Post, or at the very least the Reader’s Digest. Nowadays there are blogs without number about anything from actual news to whatever they print on Buzzfeed (he ironically types into a blog of his own creation).
While the sudden influx of writings has recently overwhelmed the internet, I don’t believe it’s because we find ourselves in a rare moment of history where a plethora of writers have emerged. Sure, there are some cases in which these writers are doing so because they are paid for it but I am convinced that percentage is minute. The woman typing about how she is achieving the perfect shade of orange on her carrots, the man posting about his 107th ride on Space Mountain, and the child reviewing the latest app they downloaded all have the same thing in common: the desire to be heard.
Isn’t that why the majority of authors write? Whether it’s the need for someone to hear your pain, happiness, fantasy of adventure, longing for love, or even just a shared laugh over a boy having adventures with his pet tiger. There’s a deep desire in all of us to share some part of this human existence together. I do find it ironic that even the loneliest and standoffish people are the ones who seem to do the most writing. There’s probably an element from our teenage years that stays with some people longer than it should. The belief that they are the only ones who really feel or are so unique that they could not begin to be understood.
That’s the beauty in writing though. It’s the ability to connect (or attempt to at least) with another human being. It’s one thing to have someone “like” a Facebook or Instagram post, but these are friends, family, and some guy you met getting a Slurpee at 3 am
every weekend in high school that one time. It’s another thing altogether when you get a notification that a complete stranger has liked your blog post. Sometimes it’s 15+ and sometimes it’s only one. But each time it feels as though you’ve made a personal connection to someone having a similar experience in life as you…and that’s pretty amazing. I can’t imagine what authors who are long dead must feel like to know that they are still having the same effect on people that weren’t born in the same time, same country, speak the same language, or the multitude of other barriers that sometimes feel like they separate us.
That’s why I write. That’s while I’ll continue to write. Whether it’s to connect to one, to many, or just to reach out and offer a hand and share something about this life that we are all just trying to figure out.
**Author’s Note** None of this applies to you James Patterson. I think you’re an invention like Santa Claus made up by publishing companies.