OPINION: Why I like to write (and why you should too)


Wren Johnson

Columnist Tyler Guthrie describes why writing brings him joy.

Every time I sit before my HP Envy laptop to write, it generates tranquility in my life. Each tap of a letter on the keyboard is like the inhalation of a warm summer breeze. The final letter of a word is the relieving exhalation. Whether it’s a review or an opinion article such as this one, a poem of my inner conflict, or a story centered on soul-rooted themes, the “tappity-tappity-tap” is my release of caged consciousness. Why do I think this way? What leads me to sit down and let out all my inner thoughts and creative flows onto digital paper? Why is it a calling of mine? 

The columns and reviews I have written for The Sunflower stream from one section of my right brain: my necessity to let out my opinions and advice for readers about how to live a more easy-going life. 

I think of it as my way to help as many people in the Wichita State  vicinity as I can, whether with mental health troubles, hobbies, or a recommended read to any avid reader. All the subjects which I have written on so far have benefitted me in the long run in some way, and I present it to readers in  hopes that they smile a little or feel better.

On the opposite end of my right brain is where the cusp of my creativity lies. I come up with my ideas for my fictional stories and poems. Sometimes, potential ideas for opinions and reviews mix in with my ideas. 

When I better organize my ideas into opinions/reviews and stories/poems, I am shocked by what my brain can come up with. Looking at a dog can spark an idea of a poem or a story, such as a premise about a boy who has a dog with cat mannerisms and a cat with dog mannerisms; they annoy each other but are loving friends. The book holds an underlying theme of how expectations are often subverted because every little creature is unique. 

On the flip side, I can write a congruent article discussing how people can grow from subverting others’ expectations showing them what they are capable of based off the same themes. 

It hasn’t all been easy, though. Planning articles, poems, and stories is one thing — a very difficult thing, in fact. However, to write them coherently and well-thought out is even harder, including this opinion article. Writing is a difficult construct. 

I don’t write this to discourage any curious people from typing for their amusement or even from writing in a journal or diary. Like with any practice, writing is taught by making mistakes: Heavily marked-up drafts and countless revisions are needed to pull off great, masterful work.  

In fact, I find that writing is beneficial for everyone in one form or another. For likewise creative individuals, it is a way to grow ideas so that they can better be analyzed and modified. It makes the mind clearer, opening the door to a flood of ideas that connect to the original idea. 

 Creators can also take those ideas and form them into however they see fit. A screenwriter can take the main character jumping from building to building into a chase scenario with them spiraling down the side of a building. A photographer can write down a series of angles from which their shot can be best taken..

Writing is one of the best activities to do if you just want to get the stresses of the day out somewhere. A journal or a diary can support that need. A deep and soul-cleansing couple of pages will suffice. People who want to let their thoughts be well-known can create a blog or even post on social media. The list of options for writing is vast and plentiful. 

Lastly, there is newsletter and newspaper work, such as journalism and opinion columnists. This is my preference. That, and the accumulation of ideas for a poem and/or story. 

I highly encourage anyone to pick up a pen and set out a sheet of paper or open up their monitor to a blank page. Look at the page and allow whatever is on the mind to flow through the fingertips and the shifts of the wrists. 

Once you write a sentence, don’t stop until the flow fades to black. Read the sentences, and see your reflection. You will find yourself feeling much more at ease with the subconscious you let the world glimpse.