Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Why Do You Write?

One question that many people will ask when they learn that someone is a writer is, of course, "What do you write?" Another, related question may be, "Why do you write [insert genre here]?" But I feel that the question of why we write at all is equally interesting. I suspect the majority of us would say, "Because I have to."

It's not that someone is standing over us, threatening to pour boiling oil on our hands should we fail to produce X number of pages. In fact, some of us (*cough*me*cough*) would rather do anything other than write--nap, watch TV, read, play with the dog. What I mean instead by, "I have to," is this: I cannot NOT write. There are times when the words build up in my head and I must get them out.

Left to my own devices, I'll take pains to avoid sitting down in front of my computer. This is why I write four or five blog posts at a time: I'm stockpiling to get the work out of the way. Because it's not glamorous, what I do. Between working long retail shifts and trying to get Little Dog to stop chewing on my ankles, keeping up with my laundry and attempting to sleep, there isn't much left in the way of energy for writing. As I type these words, I have my hair wrapped in a towel and I'm anticipating the buzzing of the washer. I haven't shaved my legs in days. Mounds of mail are accumulating yet again. But I'm still here, writing this post, because I HAVE TO.

Other writers, whether they're dedicated to spending several hours per day AIC (ass-in-chair) or giving their laptop a dirty look from across the room, will recognize this feeling. It's the one that gets us out of bed in the middle of the night to scribble down a sentence or two. It's the one that makes us cranky when we're stuck in a sales meeting and don't have an opportunity to whip up a new draft of something. It's the one that sometimes makes us forget to eat dinner because we're too busy jotting notes about a scene or a character.

We write to keep from exploding. We write to maintain our sanity (what little we may have of it). We write to scratch that itch. We do it because we have to.


No comments:

Post a Comment