Why do you write?
It’s one of those weird questions that can catch you by surprise.
I’m not asked it often. But when a friend approached me about writing a blog post to answer it, I knew I had to.
I knew I had to because the question scared me. Answering it would take me out of my comfort zone, and make me question the years I’ve put into fiction writing.
I think it scared me because of how intimate that question is, how personal.
I struggled with it for a few months, but then, with a bolt of inspiration, the below list poured from my fingertips.
I Write Because:
1. At age six I captivated my fellow classmates with a series of fantasy stories. The feeling of captivating an audience infects you like a virus. I haven’t happened upon a cure, and won’t be looking.
2. It didn’t come easy for me; Learning to write and read was a challenge.
3. I was the kid who changed his mind every week about what he wanted to be when he grew up. Now I get to be all of that through my characters.
4. A teacher in junior high told me I was good at it, and I believed her.
5. I read 1984 at too young an age to recover the pieces of my blown mind.
6. My Dad wanted me to be a lawyer.
7. A teacher in high school told me I had an ear for it, and I believed her, too.
8. I feel called to do it. I’m not into mysticism of any kind, but there really is a “calling” aspect to it that I embrace.
9. I love language with all my heart, and wanted to dedicate my life to it.
10. I’m attracted to seemingly impossible challenges.
11. I’m intellectually masochistic.
12. I’m flooded with ideas faster than I can write them.
13. I have a high pain threshold.
14. I have little patience for injustice.
15. Truth is extremely important to me.
16. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
17. I like an audience.
18. I find grammar savory.
19. I’m a freak.
20. I have a healthy, well-checked delusion of grandeur.
21. I live and breathe story.
22. I’ve given my entire adult life to it and even if I wanted to stop, it’s too late to turn back.
23. I want to use my formal education every day of my life.
24. I get irritable if I don’t.
25. I like daily routines.
26. My muse only left me once, and it was devastating. She was gone a year and took the dog.
27. Entering “the zone,” the state of being that allows you to lose time and completely enter a story, is one of the best things in the world.
28. I like to play and goof off, to trick, and misdirect.
29. I love learning: not knowing, and then figuring it out.
30. I hear stories in fragments of speech whispered across subway stations.
31. Facing the blank page on a new project is exhilarating; that feeling of not knowing what you’ll produce. And then you jump, like a skydiver.
32. If I went blind, lost my hands and voice, I’d still find a way to do it every day.
33. I see stories in the way strangers walk and gesture.
34. At times in my life, it was all I had.
35. I don’t want my kid to grow up with a father who didn’t pursue his dreams.
36. I’m egotistical enough to think I can do it well and objective enough to know when I suck. (And sometimes I still don’t know the difference, but trust that I’ll figure it out.)
37. I’m compelled to follow my obsessions.
38. I’m smart enough to know I’ll never know everything about it.
39. I’m able to embrace failure on a daily basis and move on.
These are the reasons I write.
Thanks to Jessica West for inspiring / tagging me to write this for the Why I Write blog hop.