Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why I Write

If you ask a writer why they write you’ll get a million responses that are likely to reduce to a simple “because I must.”  But why?  
If you asked me why I wrote when I was eleven and had discovered the desire, the need to write, my response would have been: “Because the characters in the books I’m reading won’t do what I want them too, so I’m going to make my own.”
If you asked me at thirteen: “Why do you write?” I would have said: “The world in my head just keeps getting bigger.  At a novel a year I won’t have enough time in my life to tell all the stories rolling around in my head.”
If you asked me at fifteen:  “Why do you write?”
“Because this is what I want to do with my life.  I want to develop the skill through hard work to tell some of the stories I know I’m not yet mature enough to tell.  My writing is who I am.”
At 21: “Because if I want to publish, I have to get it right.  It has to be perfect.  I’ve put so much time and effort into my stories, so much work,  I need them to be what I do with my life.  I need them to sell so I don’t have to find another job path.  There’s nothing else I want to do.”
At 25: “Because I can’t imagine my life without this. I’ve graduated college, but  I’m unemployed, thanks to the recession, and my writing remains all that I have left.”
At 28: “I write when I can, as I can, through the pain, the despair, the hopelessness. I’m not certain I’m very good at it any more, but when I do write, when I can write--I’m not being hemmed in by the diminishing options. When I write, I’m not here.  I am almost myself again.  Almost.  The doubt and despair goes away.”
At 30:  “I am inspired by my day job at a local bookstore which has put me back in touch with strengths I almost forgot that I had. In the interest of starting fresh and learning how depression changed my voice, I started a new project that has put me on an unexpected writing path: Young Adult Fantasy. But really, I am writing my way back to mental health.  I’m writing to discover who I have become.”
Currently, at 33: “I write to maintain self through expression.  My hardship has taught me that this tool I have honed through good and bad times is necessary.  Now, expecting a child in May, I also wish to write to have some solace I can give myself--something that is mine--as I go into motherhood.  I want, also, to show my child we never give up on our dreams, no matter what trials life tosses in our way.”  


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