Obviously, in wanting to become a writer I looked to other writers for inspiration. It’s helpful, emotionally, to know that they’ve struggled with the same sorts of things that I do. Knowing how they approach their work and practice their craft has guided me in shaping my own processes. Reading stories of how they landed early writing jobs, sold their first stories, and generally managed the business end of being a writer has provided some direction when I’ve felt that I’m floundering around out here all alone, trying to find my own way.
There’s more to it than the writing part. Even if I weren’t a writer, when I look at the sort of person that I want to be I think of writers. Specific writers, for specific character traits presence and an agile intellect. A generic, fictional archetype of a writer for some other qualities, like assertiveness and the grit to stick with things. Other people I admire I primarily know about because they are, or were, also writers even though they’re best known for other things. From those people I tend to get values I aspire to live by, like compassion and courage. Writers are my role models.
It doesn’t require me to be a writer to be well-spoken and have informed opinions. I can have a tastefully appointed yet quirky home regardless of my vocation. There is no prerequisite, in terms of career choices, for being well-read, possessed of critical thinking skills, and capable of solving problems. It it certainly possible to have empathy for the suffering of humanity without stringing words together for a living. Yet the writers I admire most are all of those things. It seems to me that the most convenient path to being that sort of person is to be a writer.
You can read more about Why I Write here.