Updated: Jun 2
Writers are an eclectic breed of human; the greats are erratic, problematic, and often enigmatic. But of them, similar traits burst forth: storytelling, intelligence, and being scholars of the human condition. Writers know how to explain, how to convey, and how to feel (through their own subjective experiences) every emotion that can be felt. The ability to ruminate on both deep and shallow subject matter allows them to be more empathetic to peoples' struggles. Who doesn't want a friend like that?
Writers, like any in any chosen profession, have their own host of issues, both common and irregular, but they have certain qualities that allow them to provide unique value to your life!
Reason #1: Storytelling
A good writer knows how to speak to people- where to place emphasis, when to get to the point, when to pause, and gauge just how interested their subject is. I often tell people to read their writing out loud to see how natural or unnatural it sounds. I'm convinced some of the best writers in the world are speech writers. The cadence of speech and the preciseness of vocabulary in a speech is critical to boost the success of a speech, and by default, boost the success of a speaker (swaying an opposing party, arguing for or against a certain stance).
If you really think about it, writers are speakers and their works are speeches. They build their fictitious world (an argument) for you to delve into, and the quality of that world (the compendiousness) keeps you engaged with the work until the end. And you decide if that story is good or not (a successful speech) by how it made you feel in the end. I'm not claiming every book written is an argument, only that you've been convinced of a work in much the same way you've been convinced of an idea through speech.
The ability to tell a story is a powerful one. Surround yourself with people who know how to converse!
Reason #2: Empathy
When my mother was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, I didn't tell many people. I didn't lament on social media about how life was falling apart. But I didn't let it paralyze me with fear, either. What I did was I tried to learn. I tried to be a sponge, in order to soak up knowledge from others who suffered from PC and their family members. It was and still is quite difficult subject material, because most of these cases don't end well, but it's also comforting to know that someone has been in my shoes, even if they're headed down a rocky path.
I choose to take solace in the words of others that so bravely shared what I felt and am feeling. If not for writers and their ability to sift through these complicated, scary emotions and thoughts, I would be nowhere near the rock I am today for my precious mother. I share this personal information to pass this to you: when something seemingly catastrophic happens in life, remember: it's happened before. Find the 'before' and learn as much as you can. It could help you cope tremendously.
"Writing is an act of empathy. You are occupying and understanding a point of view that might be alien to your own--and work is often the keyhole through which you peer." – Benjamin Percy
Reason #3: Intelligence
In order to build a world from scratch (fantasy or sci-fi) or invent a truly unique plot for characters to fill, the creator cannot be too much of an oaf. Indeed, a lout would be unable to build Lord of The Rings in several lifetimes, let alone a single! Intelligence and intelligent design (not the Biblical kind) are obviously present in writers of high caliber. A writer can harness it to make clear their works. They can use the most precise, appropriate words, construct the most logical sequencing of events, and depict the perfect reactions from their set of characters.
They could do these things. Or they could think of an insane series of events that are strung together by nothing more than coincidence or a lucky event, and build from there. Intelligence can manifest in many ways. In writers, sometimes that means being über creative and somehow making the insane plausible enough to have the reader follow along. Most of the time it's a combination of the two, so buckle up!