I’ve been thinking about why I write. Some of my writing friends say they write because they have to. Somehow that sounds like they might perish if they didn’t put word to paper. I’d like to think that about myself, but it wouldn’t be honest. The thought of “why?” comes up mostly when I’m at a loss as to what to write. It’s not writers block ( I don’t think), because basically I don’t believe there is such a thing. Many others who are smarter than me would probably disagree with that last sentence.
I write because it’s an outlet for my meandering thoughts and it makes me dig a little deeper into those thoughts. An example: This morning I found another blogger that had written about thirty questions ranging from what city or country would best represent me to what lesson would I tell my younger self? The answers were to be sent to her and she might pick the person who wrote them for a guest blog interview. I answered them because they were intriguing questions to answer and it made me think.
My most important reason for writing is simple, it’s fun and it allows me to create something tangible. I was a social worker and a therapist for many years. I enjoyed my work and generally thought I was pretty good at it, yet it never left me with anything tangible at the end of the day. I’d not built a house, sold a sofa or raised a crop. What I’d generally done was talk to people and listen to them. I hope I benefited peoples lives, but there were times I wanted to just know I’d accomplished something. I know that when I write. I can hold my two books and say these thousands of words came from me. Good, bad or indifferent, they are every one, my words.
There are two other reasons I write. I hope to bridge a gap that is always there between people. It’s the same reason I read, I want to connect with another human, perhaps today, next month or in ten years. I hope my written words do that. I also write with the hope and effort that what I write tomorrow will be better than what I wrote yesterday. Sometimes I feel I succeed and sometimes I know I didn’t. I write not because I have to, I write because I love to.
Two last quotes:
“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; not characters. A character is a caricature.” Ernest Hemingway
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word… the difference between the lightening bug and the lightening.” Mark Twain
Go well, David