Why write? Good question. I have no idea. Perhaps, the answer for me is also a line of inquiry. Why not? Why not just pack it in and give up on any dreams of becoming a famous author, bathing in a bathtub of dollar bills. Well, I’m Canadian, so they’d be coins, loonies we call ‘em, but you get the point.
Here’s the deal. I have no aspirations of being a novelist, famous or otherwise. Although, an unfamous (as opposed to infamous) novelist seems kinda lame. What is the difference between ‘famous’ and ‘infamous’ anyway? Good and evil, they tend to be used interchangeably. English is such a strange language.
So, if I don’t want to be disgustingly rich and famous, why bother putting myself out there? Why subject myself to the wrath of criticism and disdain from other writers and my as yet imagined readership? Am I some sort of strange quill-bearing masochist? Do I revel in the blood red-ink of an editor’s pen, amid the torn remains of my word darlings? Am I mad or am I just a soldier crossing the smoky battlefield of wordsmithery? I have no idea what that means.
Is it possible that I simply enjoy the sound of my own voice, even if my own voice is actually many, many voices bickering in my mind, struggling to escape? Are there entire worlds of people living inside me, playing out the dramas of their lives? Are galaxies born and civilizations fallen within the blink of an eye and the firing of a dying synapse? Do my clumsy fingers eek out a sliver of my mind’s universe, providing a glimpse, fleeting and incomplete, of other realms? If a writer’s brain-case houses universes of imaginings, then perhaps there may be hope for us as a species. To escape our bodies and soar within our inner selves! Oh, to take such a flight!
Do I write so I don’t become crazy or crazier? I’m batshit insane on the inside, but no one would know. So I write it out. Maybe it’s just therapy. Some people self-medicate with booze, some write, and some do both.
So, why do I write? I’m just a walking, talking meat-sack robot with a thick hide and a puny brain. Yet, on I write. I have no choice. It’s a compulsion. The stories have to be told or I’ll lose myself to them. I must quell the rioting mob and hush the crowd. I must give them what they want.
I write because I must.
Photo by imag-cine
NOTE: This post also appears at East Coast Creative.