I feel like a lot of people out there have a really good reason for the writing that they do.
“I write . . . because there is some lie I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.” ~George Orwell
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” ~Flannery O’Connor
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ~Anaïs Nin
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou
That all sounds great, and I would love to agree to any of it. It would make me feel smart and important, like these people. But I can’t relate to any of it. I don’t write for any of those reasons.
So why do I write?
I don’t know. I actually don’t know.
Honestly, I don’t even like writing a lot of the time. Often the very thought of writing fills me with dread.
So sometimes I just don’t. I’ll go weeks or months without, and honestly, in that time, I feel fine. It’s not like there’s some hole in my soul that I can’t seem to fill until I start writing again.
But I always start writing again.
I’ve been doing this since I was five years old. I used to start little books, and I’d make covers for them. A few years ago my mom found a cover to a book I was apparently going to call, “The Adventures of Shid.” (I was a young genius.)
As I grew up, I went through several different books ideas: a story about Egypt (I went through a phase of being obsessed with Egypt), a story about people who could turn into cats (I went through a phase of being obsessed with cats), a story about small woodland creatures running around and fighting each other with swords (I went through a phase of being obsessed with Redwall), and more.
I never got farther than five chapters in any of them. Most of the time I got stuck at two.
I also piled up a collection of maybe two hundred first pages of stories, spread over about nine files on three different computers. I wrote six complete short stories, but I’m only proud of four.
All those thousands of words of writing, and I have no idea why I did it.
I guess I just love it–even though I don’t always like it. I know a lot of authors don’t like it. I’m a quotes person. Every once in a while, I google “writing quotes” and find that half of them are just authors talking about how awful and hard writing is and how they never want to do it.
But we writers can’t seem to stop ourselves.
I guess that’s what they call passion.
For me, it doesn’t feel very passionate. It feels kind of like eating oatmeal. But I guess, once upon a time, before I was born, there was a little creative writing seed placed in my soul, and that’s why I can’t seem to get away from it. Maybe it wasn’t placed as deep in mine as it was in other people’s, or maybe I just haven’t dug deep enough to uncover it all the way.
I guess that’s why I write–because it was a gift given to me, and it wasn’t ever supposed to lay dormant.
That’s pretty deep, isn’t it?
Or maybe it’s all just convoluted babbling. Sometimes it’s hard to tell.