Being a writer is absolutely one of them, and for many reasons. Further, not only is being a writer one of the coolest jobs in the world, its also one of the most important. Fitting into both of these categories.
Finding yourself dubious over that last statement?
Thinking, oh come on, sure, writers create entertainment and at their best, offer some relevant insights to others which is probably great fun, but they certainly dont do work as important as say, a doctor, or a counselor, or an advocate for human services, or a teacher, or an inventor, or a fire fighter.
I would argue that being a writer is exactly as important, relevant, and life changing as all of those careers.
Allow me to explain.
Writers educate. You can learn anything and everything from books. How to speak Italian. How to cook or bake. The nuances of eating a healthier diet. How to improve your interpersonal communication. How to write more dramatically. How to start a small business. How to operate your Canon camera. Particular etiquette and traditions in the Japanese culture. All the parts of the body. How to care for a particular type of animal and/or pet. What the country of New Zealand is like. The list going on and on and on. Things that you may not have the chance to learn via personal experience, you can still learn via the mode of literature.
Writers offer support, empathy, a sense of connection and understanding. So many people have found solace, a sense of understanding and of being understood, feelings of community and support, within books. Memoirs and nonfiction that speak to survivors of trauma. Grief counsel in literature. Assistance with improving ones self esteem. Feelings of, "wow, me too." A sense of "I'm not alone, there are others out there like me." We find this in both fictional stories (which are of course, based on very real themes of human life, as well as authentic human challenge and triumphs), as well as nonfiction.
Writers offer a sense of solace. One of the main draws of reading can be the sense of peace, joy, and respite it offers. Curling up with a great book, growing lost within the storyline or interest the context within elicits. The process of learning and considering the messages within. Enjoying a warm beverage and sense of solitude as one disgests the book at hand. This can be a significant retreat and source of happiness in ones daily and weekly life.
Writers transport you to another culture, place in time, into novel experiences and lives you might never experience or consider otherwise. So many of us will never have the chance to visit, say, Bhutan, or Australia, or the Arctic, or Europe. Most of us, God willing, will never know what its like to be an addict, struggling through such. Or, what its like to grow up in a war saturated community. Most of us have one career experience, maybe two or three within our life, and thus, do not know what it might be like to work within another. As say, a chef, or an FBI agent, or a midwife, or a detective. We can see through this perspective and glean insight into all of these via books. Most of us do not have any semblance of what it might be like to struggle with mental illness, or a developmental disability. This perspective can be somewhat gleaned through books and literature. While some people do experiment with alternative relationship styles, such as polyamory, or open relationships, many of us do not. One can gain a birds eye view of what this might be like via literature. There are so many alternate perspectives, experiences, ideas, cultures, and ways of being that one can have a semblance of understanding via the mode of books. Expanding your mind, sense of understanding, and compassion.
Writers entertain. Because fun, throughout our daily lives, is often sadly in short supply. Far shorter than it should be. We tend to forget how fast life is. And further, that it shouldn't all be stress, slogging through the daily grind. Rushing from here to there. Sprinting down our "to do" lists. Yet, this is how so many of us live. Pouring mass amount of energy, worry, and time into things that really aren't all that crucial to the big picture joy of our lives.
Within books, both fiction and non, we can find thrill, suspense, excitement, romance, drama, joy, and inspiration.
Writers inspire. There are so many books out there that, on reading such, one will feel uplifted, emotionally moved, a new window of knowledge opening up within ones mind and heart. Learning something they hadn't considered or known prior. For example, within a particular story, seeing someone having gone through something incredibly difficult and emerging through such, intact, and even for the better. Reading about people working hard and reaching the stars for which they were aiming. Books inspire us to new heights, different dreams, and further benchmarks. They can help remind us of whats possible, of all that we are capable of. They can open our minds and hearts. Fill us with a sense of possibility.
Writers teach us how to be human. Through reading both fictional stories and non fiction, we come face to face with the dilemmas, challenges, as well as triumphs and wonder, of all it means to be human. We can experience the navigating through all of it. Finding ourselves suddenly introduced to new ways of thinking, different ways relating to others, novel ways of being or living. Reading about the experiences, lives, dilemmas and challenges of others can inject us with a sense of greater empathy. Showing and reminding us that all of human life is incredibly complex, messy, and layered. That this is normal, worthy of openness, bravery, and a seeking of further learning and curiosity, and even to be celebrated.
Writers open up new worlds inside of us. Within books, we find different ways of looking at the world, and at other people. We can be inspired by alternate ways of loving and relating to others. We can learn things with regards to diet, health, psychology, science, that we didn't know prior and which change the decisions we make daily after learning such information. We may stumble on alternate career ideas which we had never thought of, known about, or considered prior. Read about places of which we had never heard, and which we now long to venture. The list goes on. Reading opens up whole new worlds and adds layers of knowledge to the being which we already are.
Writers absolutely change, and even save lives. All readers know this to be true. And every single reader has a handful of books for which this is absolutely true for them. Books that changed their life in some way. Sometimes in minor ways, other times, in monumental. Reading a book about nutrition that changes how you eat. Reading a book that introduces you to new ideas for how to love or conduct your relationships. A book that offers life philosophies you had never known or considered prior, which speak to you and thus, embed themselves within your heart. Altering your way of thinking and acting from there, going forward. A story that changes how you view people who have gone through a certain type of situation, now seeing them with new eyes. A book that entices you towards an adventure on which you have never embarked or thought of, prior to reading it. The list goes on and on. Books influence our thinking, change our perceptions and ways of thinking in both minute ways, and huge ones. The books that do this are different for everyone. Particular books speak to different people. Certain topics and reads, reaching out and grabbing hold of you, with a refusal to let go. Their messages and ideas continuing to whisper to you through the walls, long after their having concluded.
Books are powerful, immensely worthwhile, awe inspiring and awesome things. And the people who produce these small squares of paper, chock full of etchings and typing's which have the power to alter your entire way of thinking and being? Writers. A crucial, immensely important, life changing job to be sure. A job that has the power to, and absolutely does, shape and alter lives in powerful, significant ways. How incredibly cool and important is that? One of the coolest jobs in the world, to be sure.
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