Today, write about why you write.
I don’t write for publication – so stop asking immediately after I tell you I write if I’ve been published or if I plan to be. I write because I am compelled to do so. From the moment I had a black and white composition notebook and pen in my hands, I was determined to put the ink to the pure pages and get out of my head all the things that didn’t really want to stay in.
I write to keep myself sane. To make sense of the world. I write to remind myself that I’m not the one who’s crazy – it’s the way we’ve set up society to be focused on production and output rather than pure creation. I write because I need creation in my life. I need the creativity and the satisfaction of being the one to bring it alive.
I write because sometimes the characters in my head are scratching at my snapping synapses to get out, out, OUT! I write because these same characters teach me more about myself than I could hope to learn from those around me. I write for clarity. I write to be vague. I write to stop the vibrating in my guts and hands and eyeballs.
I write, too, because I am utterly afraid of this world. I am afraid that I’ll lose some part of myself to the daily repetitive grind of doing things I’d really rather not be doing. I write with the hope that writing, in itself, can be enough for me to make it through the next 30 years of necessity. I write because I need to. I need to. I need to.
I’m not writing for you or you or you…. I’m writing for me. I’m writing to revel in this type of selfishness – this backlash against all those shoulds I’ve been hearing since I started making my own decisions.
On my choice of education:
Q: What are you going to school for?
A: English Creative Writing – Poetry.
Q: What are you going to do with that, teach?
A: No, I just want to write.
Q: You should teach. You’ll get summers off to write.
I don’t want to just write in the summers. I don’t want to teach. I just want to feed my creativity and write.
Q: I heard you’re writing, that’s great! What are you writing?
A: Insert brief description of work-in-progress here.
Q: What are you, going to send it to a publisher after, try to get it published?
A: No. I’m going to edit it and see what’s there.
A: I’m not trying to get published. I’m just trying to finish something. To work on a writing schedule I so desperately need. To get these characters and this separate world I’ve had in my head since I was 14 out. I’m not thinking about publication right now.
There are logical assumptions people jump to when they hear about writing. They think of the “sensible” thing do to. The shoulds. My answers may seem lacking, flighty. Writing for writing’s sake? Preposterous!
I write to revel in the ridiculousness. I write because it is my own type of therapy. It is my way of dealing with the world, on learning how to cope with things. I do it because I need to do it, isn’t that quite enough?