This post is my entry in the contest B.J. Anderson is holding. What can I say, I want me some Twinkies (and the gift card wouldn't be half bad either).
The question she asks for this is "Why do we write?"
Unlike so many other of my fellow writers, I am not one who feels the call. I don't have so many little voices in my head having convoluted conversations, begging me to tell their tale. I don't sit up late at night with my fingers upon the keyboard, the words flowing out like so much golden honey on warm biscuits (okay, sometimes I'm lucky enough to have those moments, but it's rare). Oh, and yes I am incredibly envious of all you writers who DO experience these things.
I write for three reasons:
1. I've discovered I have the knack for it (even if it's only the rare occasion when I can look at a passage I've written and declare it brilliant).
2. Writing provides a platform for my creativity, a facet of my being that has been ignored (or forgotten) for far too long.
3. Writing makes me feel good, not only about myself but also about what I can give to those around me.
The first reason may sound arrogant, but I'm proud of myself when I write something worthy. If you can't recognize when you're writing well and give yourself a pat on the back once in a while, you may not want to consider continuing the pursuit. The other times when you feel less than worthy are just too depressing. This first reason is also me being practical. When you find something you do (especially if you can do it well), you need to embrace that. There are so many things we know that we can't do, that we need to acknowledge the things we can.
The second reason is more significant than the first. You see, my day job is that of a computer geek (a.k.a. server admin). Other than being an accountant or a taxman (no offense IRS), I cannot imagine anything less creative. After living too many years ignoring my creativity (or not having a decent way to express it), writing has given me an outlet for all that creative energy. I've heard you can explode if you bottle that stuff up for too long. Whew. Thank you, Muse.
The third reason is the most important of all however. I am a firm believer that we need something of our own that makes us happy. We need to have something that makes us smile, something we can throw ourselves into. Now don't get me wrong. I'm a parent, and nothing makes me smile more than my wife and kids. But they are not solely mine. I share my wife with my kids and visa versa. My writing however, is mine alone. And selfish as it is, my writing gives me great joy (even the difficult parts). I willingly struggle with silencing my internal editor (a herculean task to be sure), and I am so elated when I manage to write a paragraph without second-guessing my choice of words. I bask in the glow when I manage to write really well and someone else out there feels the same intense vibe after they read it. All of these things together sum up the fact that writing makes me feel good, like nothing else I've ever done.
Other than marrying the right woman and being blessed with two wonderful children, that is.
Though I have had doubtful moments when I thought I would never try writing again, I honestly cannot imagine really quitting. It's way too much fun.
Today is the last day you have to enter B.J.'s contest, so what are you waiting for? Drop a comment on her page or create a post of your own. It's Twinkies and a gift card at stake here, people!