Written by Edgar Lopez in honor of the National Day on Writing
I surprised myself when I thought about the importance and impact that writing has had on my life. When writing assignments for school, I absolutely hate writing because I have a hard time putting my thoughts into words, and before I know it, the deadline for my assignments is one hour closer and I have made little progress. When there is no pressure to write, I find that I enjoy getting my thoughts out of my head and onto something concrete, which I can share with others. Writing has allowed me to experience the minds of great men like Orwell, Milton, and Dostoevsky and several more, which have shaped my views on how I view the world and approach life in general. I would certainly classify my relationship with writing as a love and hate relationship.
Writing has also allowed the tradition of storytelling to be kept alive and shared with the rest of the world. Recently I watched a documentary about the history behind the first Lord of the Rings movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, and it was an interview of an old man from Finland that the gravity of the importance of writing hit me. This old man was the last person in the world who knew the entire story of the Kalevala, an ancient mythology of the Finnish people, purely through oral form, he had never read a word of it. If he had died without speaking the Kalevala to anyone else and them committing it to memory, the world would have lost an epic poem that matches the caliber of The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, and the Odyssey. Luckily, someone had the sense to listen and write down this epic which is now considered the most important piece of literature in Finnish history. When I heard this story I realized how far we have come in being able to communicate with one another in more than just oral form. Writing has kept changed and expanded the old tradition of storytelling, with contemporary authors constantly creating new mythologies for future generations to read on their IPads.