I’m a firm believer that everyone has a story to tell—whether that story is a novel, a poem, a song, an academic article, or even a personal journal. Everyone has something to say, no matter what the final product is, and they need to use writing to say it.
When I was in college at Wright State, I had the amazing opportunity to work at the University Writing Center. The UWC was an awesome place where any student could walk in to get help on any kind of writing and when they were at any point in the writing process. The writing coaches, who came from just about every major, got to sit one-on-one with the students and talk about what they were writing. And students came in with all kinds of projects, such as a paper for an English class, a case study for a nursing class, an engineering report for a senior design project, or personal writing like a résumé or creative writing.
My favorite part about working there was the variety of what a student would bring to the table. I never knew what to expect when I sat down with a student, and I was always surprised with what they had to say. Working with such a variety of students made me learn just how important writing is to every single career path, as each student needed to learn how to write in a specific way for their specific major. Also, reading all of the amazing stories these students brought to me not only taught me about so many different subjects, but allowed me the opportunity to share my belief that they had something very important to say, and that I wanted to hear it.
Back in high school I heard a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald that I’ve never forgotten: “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” Everyone has something they have to say, whether it is about the book they read in class, the culture that they come from, the subject they are studying, or even a novel of their own. Everyone has an opinion on something that they should share with the world, and writing is the best way to convey what they have to say.
Working in the UWC and talking with my peers, I discovered just how many people dislike writing. It’s hard work, it takes a long time, and, for many people, it’s just not worth it. But I know that everyone has something important to say. And even if writing isn’t enjoyable to you at the moment, all it may take to make it an enjoyable and even freeing experience is to find the right subject to write about.
Find what you have to say. And then say it. Because the world is waiting to hear. And I am too.