This week’s blog will look at my writing but not the actual words. We’ll be looking at the reasons why I write. If I’m being honest, there are too many for me to actually cover. However, if I’m really honest about what keeps me coming back to a blank page (or even one with a few squiggles on it), there are only a handful of reasons.
Let’s get into it.
This isn’t that far off from how I work. I either handwrite or type every piece of mine before it hits the computer screen. It feels more authentic to me. I get to be connected to the page in a visceral way that I can’t replicate on a keyboard. Personal preference.
But that’s what my writing is all about.
When I write, I want it to be an immersive experience. I light a candle or incense. I set up specific, soft lighting like Christmas lights draped all across my room or puffy DIY cloud lights. I wear clothes that are comfortable and I have to feel paper and fountain pen or the resistance of a typewriter key beneath my hands, the mechanism of my thoughts moving as I instruct it to. I like writing with tea, coffee, sometimes even whiskey. Having a taste in my mouth is important too. I write in complete silence so I can hear the scritching of the pen or the clack of the keys, the ding signifying my progress. Or I’ll write with music on to keep me going, push me through the hard spots, and elevate my own emotions. And of course, the lighting, the candle, the glass with whiskey in it, and the words I am physically bringing into existence are all attractive to my eyes.
To understand why I write, you have to understand what writing is to me. It’s an experience. It’s my own energy dancing with the universe. It’s like I leak out of myself and into the world around me, beyond me, only to be sucked back into my body when I leave my desk.
That being said, we arrive at our first point.
1. I write because I have to.
Not because I want to (which a lot of times I do) but because I have to. For me, it’s a desperate need. Writing is an addiction, a passion of mine. My mind suffers when I don’t spend time scribbling away. I’ve always had this need, since the time I was a very small child. It’s hard to put words to the feeling that burns and bubbles in my chest. It’s the strangest mix of spewing lava and floating summertime bubbles. Chalk drawings by kids and fires set by adults.
I just know I have to write. My words are precious to me, and I have to do them justice. I have to let them out.
Which brings me to my second point.
2. I want to share my words.
More than anything, I want to share my words with the world. I want to change someone, something. I want to impact people. Make them cry, make them laugh, make them scream, make them smile. I want to make them feel. I hope that by sharing my words I’m able to extend my reach, my sphere of influence and touch as many souls as I can. I want my books on shelves and in classrooms not for monetary gain but so that people can think. People can react to my words, my work, my spirit.
I want to impact people.
And that’s it.
Small list, isn’t it?
If I cut it down to the real, honest reasons why I write, that’s it. Of course, I love it but like with any passion I go through seasons where I despise it, where I don’t know why I’m still doing it. It’s fun, but not always. There’s revising, editing, peer reviews and readers, and lots and lots and lots of rejection.
It’s a great tool to process emotions, events, and thoughts. But sometimes it jumbles things up. Forces us to hold onto something we should have let go eons ago. It’s a wonderful way to express ourselves and make ourselves feel emotions. We can create attachments to our characters and stories. But sometimes, we detach from reality in doing that.
All of these secondary things have caveats to them. Reasons why they can’t have ever been the things driving me to first write. So I find myself focused in on two reasons. Two reasons.
And it makes me wonder: How many people are like me? How many people give sanity, sleep, and comfort for a passion driven by one or two reasons? When it boils down to it, isn’t that all we have? One or two reasons and a whole lotta grit?