As a writer, I know there is one question that will be asked of me time and time again: why do I write? I always found this question a little strange. It made me wonder why everyone wasn’t being questioned about why they do whatever it is that they do. But regardless, I finally have an answer. It popped into my head one day as I was mulling how I’d awoken over in my head.
March 6th, 2013 I woke up thinking the opening lines to the next draft of my current work in progress. I’d had it planned and plotted for a month and a half but hadn’t had the means to start writing yet. It was driving me insane. I got on Twitter March 5th (when I got a chance to go on the computer) and read tons of tweets. It was toxic; poisoned me. I then realized how badly I wanted to start writing. How not being able to write was driving me insane.
So it just happened that I woke up the next morning thinking about the beginning lines of said WIP. I figured in a couple hours to write. And I did. And it was awesome!
Why do I write? I believe I have three answers for this, each just as relevant and true as the other.
One, it is and always has been an escape. I didn’t have a horrid childhood filled with destitution and nights living on the streets begging for food – but my childhood wasn’t a walk in the park either. So I imagined going somewhere else, being some other person completely capable of kicking the crap out of whatever came their way. Always landing on their feet, knowing what to say, and how to deal.
Writing continues to be my escape. Though it has to compete with reading now too. And it’s not something I have to consciously bring myself to do; I’m imaging something almost all the time. It’s a part of me.
Two, my childhood was filled with everything paranormal, horror, and science fiction. That in and of itself was an escape from everything going on. Old movies, books, legends, Vincent Price’s dramatic voice. I was filled to brim with them all right from the start. It surrounded me and was something I clung to, held onto, because it was something good, something happy in a time of turbulence.
It’s only natural that it all became a part of who I am and what I desire to become and do with my time in this crazy life.
Three, I can’t not write. It’s impossible for me to go without. There are people in my head that I created out of a need to escape, a need to cope, and smile through tears. And those people, they’re not going to go away just because I want a concrete career. Not that I mind, at all.
If I decided tomorrow to give up writing, I’d become depressed within a month’s time. I’d do what I did March 6th; I’d wake up thinking about what I wanted to write, what story currently played in my mind. I’d have the urge to write it down, explore it, see what happened and who did what and why.
I suppose this makes the third reason I write because it makes me happy. To deny myself the ability to write would be like trying to ignore part of who I am, hiding it to fit better into what the world around me wants.
I would literally suffer if I tried to stop writing. Now, I know some writers how agree with this third reason, but go on to say that they tried to stop writing. And then I sit there and go “Why the bloody hell would you do that?!”
I honestly love to write. I love the research, the plotting, the planning, building character and different species. I love the writing, the revising, sending it off for opinions from my critique partners (which I’m really excited for this time!), I love getting that reaction back, all their ideas and feelings about what I wrote. I love deciding what needs to be changed, what stands in pretty good ground already. I enjoy editing, writing queries, sending them off and waiting. Checking my email every three minutes because I’m excited and apprehensive and nervous. Getting back replies, hoping for the only “yes” I need.
I think I just described a masochist, but hey. 😉 I love writing; the good and the bad. I’ve never shied away from a challenge just as I’ve never thought I’d be anything but a writer.
I write to cope with life, to cope with what I feel, what enrages me, what brings a smile and maybe a bitter tear or two. I write because I don’t know how not to. And I don’t want to learn how to not to. It comes naturally to me. I loved writing before I loved to read.
So there you have it. I write because I am a writer.
If you’re a writer of any written word, why do you write? Do you find that question odd? Have you ever tried to not write?