Thursday, September 2, 2010

What is it all about?

Sometimes I get bogged down in existential questions like "why is the sky blue?" and "what is the meaning of life?". Actually, I have already learned the answers to these two questions, but this blog is not about that. This blog is about writing.

Isn't it strange that some people never pick up a book and read while some people read constantly and can never get enough? And isn't it stranger still that some people can barely write their own names, hate writing and won't even write a check while others pick up a pen or turn on a word program and start writing and never stop?

What is it exactly that makes a writer write even though he/she has no idea if anyone will ever read it?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I used to love the essay questions on tests. I loved writing letters to friends and family even though I rarely even received a postcard in return. In most cases, they told me that they would rather just call and talk on the phone, but I hate talking on the phone. I really do. Even when I was in high school and utterly 'in love', I rarely enjoyed those long, long telephone conversations with the beloved. Now in the age of cellphones, iPhones, webcams and every manner of electronic communication, I still love the written word best. There is absolutely no way to fold up a phone conversation and put it in a little box on the closet shelf.

That brings up another question. Why do some people keep old letters, newsclippings and other written mementos in boxes on the closet shelf? Do they ever go through and look at them? I do. Sometimes, usually when I'm cleaning out a closet or moving or some such, I'll come across my boxES of mementos and invariably I will take some time to sit down and sift through the memories. I can't say what exactly comes of this, but it always makes me feel good to look at them and sometimes sad and good at the same time.

I have said before that I write because I HAVE to write. I have no choice. I've tried not to and I actually get sick if I do not sit down and write or at least edit my work. I have to work on my stuff every day in some way or another or else I get all grumpy and people notice. My good friends and close family can tell when I haven't had my writing fix for a couple of days. Not good!

But the question remains: What is it all about? Why do I need to write about worlds that exist only in my imagination? Why do I NEED to have others read about my fantasy worlds? What is so gratifying about getting a good review or a favorable comment? I can't answer that question, but if you ask any true author, you will probably get the same non-answer.

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