I’ve noticed an interesting trend on social media. When you engage in the writing community, often people will ask random questions for the purposes of conversation starting. A very popular one among writers is “why do you write?”. The answer is varied, and I can only answer for myself.
I need to write. It’s been a part of me since I was a small child, second only to the escapism of reading. Writing is cathartic, especially as a child or teen, a world you build and can control. I started telling verbal stories quite young, and growing up in the 90’s I played with toys and made whole imaginary worlds. It wasn’t a huge leap to start putting these things on paper. I wrote copious amounts of poetry as a teenager, much of it reflecting the darkness of a bipolar mind that hadn’t yet been diagnosed.
I tried many times through my teens and twenties to write fiction, always failing to complete the project. Doubt in my abilities plagued me, and the people who cheered me on were often dismissed in my mind as “having to say that”.
The story telling never stopped though. Even if I found reasons to not put myself out there, my brain was constantly churning and fueling that creative spark. It often found its way into my dreams. I dream in full color, long epics with intense detail. Many of these dreams I’m not even a part of. It’s like I’m floating above, watching a real life scenario play out.
That’s actually how Grasslands was born. Nearly five years prior to actually writing the story, I’d had one of those intense dreams. I intuitively knew the world, the background, and just watched things play out between two people. I woke up that morning and knew that dream was special, heading straight to my computer to type out every thing I could remember from one scene.
When I decided to commit myself to a project I was actually torn between the story Grasslands would become, and a psychological thriller I’d started nearly seven years prior. The young woman in my dream won, begging me to tell her story.
I write because I have a story no one can tell but me. I write because books have kept me alive and whole since I was three years old. I write because certain authors feel like my best friends, their characters my closest companions, and I want to be that for someone some day.
Do I want to be famous? Only if it helps put my books in more hands. Do I do this to get rich? It would be a really nice perk, but probably very unlikely.
I write because books are treasures, and I want my jewel to shine.
If you’re a writer too… blogger, poet, novelist… why do YOU write? I really want to know!
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
― J.D. Salinger