By Kristen Bilyea

When I began to write, I found that it was easier to express myself through words on a page than it was in conversation. I could write down whatever I wanted, and no one would ever have to see it. They were my words; they were the words I came up with in my mind and body, and I could say whatever I wanted to with no repercussions.

When I kept writing, I found that, like conversation, writing deserved and needed to be shared. Even a personal diary will one day surface and be published for a slew of audiences. Your deepest thoughts, dreams, and even just the crazy ticks you make note of in the margins. Every stroke of the pen, click of the keyboard, word written without wonder—it comes naturally, yet people find it to be the most unnatural thing in the world. There are people who don’t find as much joy in written expression as you do.

Writing isn’t just a habit; it is a way of life, and I believe that anyone can do it. It is as easy as picking up a pencil and jotting down a few lines, but the best part about it all is continuing those lines into a few paragraphs, into a few chapters. Soon enough, your little idea could become a bestseller, and you are on your way to a good life, a set life. A life set in paper and pens and book tours and autographs, or interviews or scripts or movie screens.

But you see: being a writer isn’t just about the books. It’s about the television you watch and the movies you see. It’s about the brochure you read on vacation or the one your doctor gives to you. Writers are everywhere, carving in their names in margins and bylines and making the world wordy.

If you’re the person who is stuck on every assignment, the ones where you have to draft over and over, the ones where you struggle to reach a word limit, or the ones about complicated, lengthy essays that you can’t seem to make sense of, don’t worry. Don’t feel like you can’t be a great writer too.

You could be the one creating a formula of numbers mixed with the letters of the English language. You could be the one leading a great seminar, reciting the words you scrawled quickly on a napkin. You could be the bestselling author, you simply have to keep writing, because writing isn’t just a habit, and writing is whatever you make it to be. Even the small note you leave for your mother before you leave the house has the same thoughts put into it as movies you’ve seen. It’s all about the feeling and the care you put into it.

Writing isn’t just a habit; it’s you.

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