Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Introduction ~ Why I Write

I sit here wracking my brain, and realized I'm no closer than the last half dozen times I flirted with the answer. I could claim writer's block and be done with it. But I can't. Because I have only two instances that constitute what I call writer's block. One is when I’m stuck on what word to use that best defines a mood, an action, or emotion. The other is when I struggle with a paragraph that’s just not quite right. After that, anything else is just something I haven't figured out yet.

It's the latter of the two that reminds me of an up-all-night session (more years ago than I care to estimate), when I struggled with a paragraph and couldn't look at the words one second more. I needed to get up and walk away from the frustration. So, I went to the kitchen, poured a cup of coffee, and went outside to sit on the back porch steps. From there I had a clear view of the late night/early morning sky.

I remember a clear view of the most beautiful moon; under which I queried, '
Why am I doing this. Who cares about what I have to say? And why am I driving myself so crazy if no one’s really ever going to care?'

Here I am, all however-many-years later, still working to get it right. Why? Because one day, whether by my own self-publishing efforts (by website or blog) or landing one of those still ever-precious contracts (with a major publishing house), I will be In Print.

Okay, so that didn’t explain exactly why I write. Hence the tortured-soul syndrome. It's like asking someone the getting-in-tune-with-yourself version of, "What do you want?" Try getting an answer to that one in the same day's time.

Unfortunately I've stated, rather naively on more than an occasion or three, that I have this wonderful story that needs to be told. And as Fate tends to have it, that particular topic raised its gnarly little head again; forcing me, again, to wrastle with why?

When my pc is up and running, you can find me on an iVillage message board, the Writer Exercise Board.


A recent post, QOTW - The Dedication Page, asked the following questions:

How dedicated are you to the craft of writing? Do you write just for fun or do you dream of publication? Do you share your work because you seek praise, or do you seek feedback that will sharpen your skills? Do you view WEB as a social network or an educational resource?

The post reminded me of a passage I'd found as I sorted through some old files, while I worked with the national (or global) level tech support during a Spyware attack. Yea! That's how I started my 2008. Though I'd put the print aside, the above questions were a clear invitation to share it sooner rather than at a later date.

What I love to hear (and what I guess any writer enjoys) is someone saying, "I never saw that coming in the story!" Tell a superior tale and write what you know, which may just be, how to spin a fine story.

A friend of mine undstood it best when he said an excellent writer writes because he [or she] has to. It must come out and be told. No illusions of lasting art no ideals and morals, just a story dying, aching to be shared. In that way, you are writing what you know for certain.

[from Beyond The Words, a column by Steven Shrewsbury]

For me, that spoke to the very inspiration behind why I work so hard toward a final draft and getting it published. Reading those words is like someone reaching inside and pulling them free. Finally, someone knew exactly what I've been trying to say.

I write because I believe what I have to say matters. And even though my more creative stories wax toward the seemingly fantastic, they are filled with human perspective and experience. I write because maybe, just maybe, I will inspire someone to take an action they may otherwise never have taken. And of recent, I write to give a voice to the voiceless; that they are better heard.