Why I Write
(Well, It’s not because I have deadlines…)
I’ve been writing since I was five years old.
Most of what I wrote between the ages of five and thirty are what I now call ‘Therapy.’ Page after page of ‘poetry.’ More than a few short stories (most of which have been lost to the ages — or at least to the ‘circular file’). Many have gone the way of Old Technology, having not been printed out, and thus —
I Write what comes to me. Not a good way of getting material for most people, but it has provided me with tons of writing that I now have no way of dealing with. I have to let anything that doesn’t lead to “promising” (i.e. finished) go. Let sleeping stories lie like dogs. If they wake up later and ‘bark,’ they get finished (The Easy part).
“Writers Block?” Not something I have. And since I’m also a visual Artist (among many other creative things), I don’t worry about it. I Write, it either gets finished, or it lays fallow wherever it it (Desk drawer? No. Files upon Files on old hard drives? Yes.).
I Write because I need to. Need to? It’s not like eating. But if I don’t get the idea out and on a page, on my phone, in a file… It can itch my brain until I do. The Important Ideas need to come out, whether it’s three a.m. or not.
Will they become annals in the desired “Published” category? I don’t know yet. As with the Monty Python skit of the Knight with no arms and legs left saying, “Come Back, you cowards! I ain’t Dead Yet!”
I write because that’s Who and What I am. That’s it.
I have currently written Seven Feature Screenplays (four of those Novels-in-Progress), way too many Short Stories to ever get into publications, and way too many Songs to go back and even think of typing them into files and editing them to life. And that’s just the Work that I’ve gotten ‘finished.’
I have had Grand Dreams of Getting Published; of creating my own Literary Imprint (Coming Soon to an Online Bookstore near You!); for most of my Adult Life.
I have been Published, just not in Literary Journals. I’ve Placed in two Screenwriting Competitions (the equivalence of being Unpublished and or Un-Produced). And Yet I Write.
(Photo Intentionally Blurred for Copyright.)
I mean this not to be a dis-incentive to Write, but to be an encouragement to Write. Very few of us can be Published Writers of many Volumes, much less Stephen King or Joyce Carole Oates. I Write because of the above mentioned “Need to Write,” and also because I Know I will be Published one day. One has to maintain that perspective.
Unless you Write out of Therapy.
One Paragraph after another. One Page following that first. Remembering Why You Write. Because if you’re not in it for the Passion (that Need to Write), you’re not going to get anywhere. Perseverance is the key. Not the Door.