Expression is not the property of some said intellectuals as no one is born intellectual. It is not something that is naturally limited to a certain part of people rather a very natural phenomenon bestowed upon each organism on earth.
We have different ways to express. One of them is via words, spoken or written. I have come across many people, my friends, students, who would assume themselves not to be good at writing. This is a false assumption to me.
It certainly requires some practice but keeping the pen down just because you are from a ‘different’ stream (which is the most oft-quoted reasons by my friends) is just a fallacy. And people keep their pen down based on this insecurity that they would end up writing ‘bad’.
The misconceptions range from a sense of ‘elements’ of literature or in other words ‘depth’ in their writing.
Let us be clear that the prerequisite for a good piece of art is to know what you feel (for yourself or subject of the art). This feeling is the base of your expression, whatever course you take to express. Be it writing, drawing, filming, dancing or any other art form, the essence is what do you feel (about).
That feeling is like water. It will change forms but it will have the same quality of quenching the thirst. You put that water in a glass, bottle, jar or let it flow in a river, it will still satisfy your thirst. Yes, you can add some colour to make it look colourful, add some sugar to make it tasty, add a little scent to make it smell nice.
But remember beautification is just one fifth of what your expression is. The earliest poems were raw. They never rhymed or followed metre. The verses came later. The prose had expressions, and just that. The fables that our grandma told, generally didn’t have metaphor or simile but we loved it.
Why? My grandmother who died recently told me the same stories that my siblings heard and she would use words, songs, emotions and vary her tones to make us feel happy, sad or angry. She was illiterate. She never knew what metaphor is, nor her grandmother would have known!
But if I collect all her stories and write them almost as she told me, it will be a good work of literature.
Now, back to the writers inside all of us. I would urge you to not care about these ‘elements’. You might not be able to define them but still using them all the time. You might not know what philosophy is but nevertheless you follow one because there a thousand of them and you ought to fall somewhere.
Humanity studies itself and makes laws later. Words come first, followed by language and then grammar, and literature (refined one) just streamlines it, structures it. Writing your feelings is the best way to start to write. Choose the language you are comfortable with and just write.
It has two important aspects or advantages: your evolution as a writer gives you a lot of time to introspect and makes you a better person; second, it is a good way to offload that baggage, thought that you have been carrying.
It doesn’t matter whether you are studying science or humanities. You speak, don’t you? So you can write as well! There are a thousand things to comment upon. Look around in the periphery, society, your group and you will find there is a lot to write.
Don’t worry about the fine details. You have just started as Rabindranath Tagore or Albert Camus would have. All of us start. The good thing is it doesn’t follow any formula. You write what you feel. There is no imbalance in the molecules to let your equation go haywire! Your piece would have emotions, some deeply felt, some a little low on measurement but it won’t destroy the paper. I have never heard a writer’s paper caught fire (unless, of course, you put sulphur on it)!
Our evolution as a human being, as an individual, or as a writer makes us polish ourselves. You would see for yourself that your writings have good value. It would evolve with you.
To put it very simply, the path is straight: if you think, if you speak, if you feel and emote, you can express in any way you want. You can be a painter, a poet, a story teller… Almost anything.