The sound of the wind as it hits the windshield and streams all the way to the end of the car, the free movement of uncontrollable high-speeds, and overall danger that looms just around the corner. Driving is not so different from writing, in fact one may even call it as its metaphysical equivalent. It was in fact Douglas Adams that once said ” I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by” to illustrate the laborious, yet exceptionally rewarding nature of writing, something that isn’t so different from turning the steering wheel wherever you would like to go.
Yet this analogy has far-reaching complexities, just like a professional driver, a writer takes risks and if they do not work out they can be very costly and even fatal. Although the writer is never really in danger of losing his own life, he is however liable over his own soul and character. From Steinbeck to Dostoevsky, whose novels deal intensely with the nature of humanity, and above all, the individual, one can be immediately aware of the risks one takes with steering the narratives, conversations and character in certain direction, at various speeds, with a ludicrous amounts of bumps on the way.
To sit down and churn out words is simple, just like how a sixteen year old, or really most of the adult population chooses to drive casually without really much attention to the world around them. To take a pen in your hand and to begin writing, is just as scary as driving through a highway only on a mental level. You can choose to go as fast as you can to get to the end, but you risk a lot doing so.
Yet, just like driving you can’t just jump right into it most of the time, but it requires a great deal of attention and care in all of its aspects, just like how those who begin to write without really having ever read much, is like hoping into a car without any gas in it, and its oil dried out.
If it is driving or writing that you enjoy, it is essential that one devotes attention and care to the process of becoming good in both things. You always see drivers that have been driving for 30 years or more but still do a bad job, and the same goes for writers. The issue here with both is not time, but the persistence that goes behind getting good at it. I personally do not like driving very much, which is why I love writing.