I was recently reading an article on what drives writers to do what they do, honing their craft upon story after story, and tackling headlong, and sometimes heartbroken into that next project, a self punishment of sort – chasing that elusive thing called ‘recognition’.
So the question that naturally rose in my mind was why? Why do writers continue writing even when they feel the walls crushing in. And I couldn’t help but think: what makes me write? It’s a simple enough question, right? WRONG!
I’ve been asked that question many times and every time I am asked, I get dumbfounded. Why, you ask? I mean, who would know why I write better than me, right? You would think so, but I’m afraid it’s not that simple. Yes, I write. I’ve written, or at least woven stories for as long as I can remember. I mean we all do it at some point or other in our lives. The reason I am stumped by that question is, in truth very simple:
I have never thought about it. I just DO it.
Does that make sense? And since I don’t really think about ‘writing’ as anything other than a part of me that simply exists, I’ve never questioned it. I’ve simply accepted it, been at times proud of it, and at times, painfully wished I could get distracted by any other occupation than this. This road a writer takes, or for that matter, any artist takes is one fought against an onslaught of hardship, struggle, disappointment, discouragement and very little success. It doesn’t sound very attractive now, does it? So what keeps me going back to weaving the wonderful gossamer of imagination and create something?
It’s precisely that – that I can create a world.
A world allowing readers to disappear into the realm of the pages. It’s a rather interesting way to travel the world, sight-see, meet people, learn a culture, enjoy a laugh or a cry, find a new friend, witness love, death, birth. So why wouldn’t I create?
I am a normal person. The only difference is slight, and that is, that I am, in a way, addicted to words. I don’t really write because it is what I choose to do, rather, I write because it is what I must do. I don’t write for you, or them, or anybody else. I write for me. Most writers won’t admit to that. And most times, if I like what I have written, as a reader myself wanting to go on those mini holidays or self-discoveries, then, and only then, will I offer you my piece, and invite you in.
Ray Bradbury said it well, that your “intuition knows what to write” so you just need to get out of its way and let it do what it must. Words have a way of their own, and most of the time, I am just happy to write. This is my addiction. What is yours?