#1. We are driven; it is an addiction hardly controllable. Some call it a gift, others call it a curse.
#2 . We are creators. We get to play God. We craft the good, the bad, and the ugly characters; furthermore, we get to decide on their FATEs, their LIVEs, and if they should live or die. It is a rush.
#3. We novelist, playwrights, script writers get to play all the parts, whereas actors typically are held to one part and one role only. So it is like what we did as kids – play. Writing is play and should be a playful “art” and “science”.
#4. We can tell people we are “Working” while we are “Playing” and no one is any the wiser.
#5. We get to create metaphors for what we do and metaphor creation for your “work” is in and of itself a fun activity as in “Writing is easy, like picking a scab until it bleeds, and when it stops bleeding, you pick at it for the next scene.” Or Writing is easy, all you have to do is open a vein….like lifting a raw egg of a linoleum floor….your turn to play.
#6. We write for our first reader – ourselves – which includes the guy who loves everything we spout, and the harsh critic within that detests everything we spout. We stiff arm both and somehow continue writing only by not settling for self-hype or mean-spirited criticism from that side of the brain that dislikes everything.
#7. Because we are “supposed” to….as in now I gotta get this blog outta my head an onto paper…or I have a deadline to meet with a story….or a self-imposed deadline.
#8. Because we love language and anything to do with language, and we love working in the “materials” of language and using the “tools” of language to craft “Kodak moments” and memorable scenes that move people to feel one emotion or another; in other words to wield the most powerful weapon on earth – Words. That which is mightier than the sword.
#9. Because we have a pack of lies (fiction/ficciones) inside us that have to get outside of us in order to “prove” a truth, quite often a truth surrounding the human condition. We are observers of the parade…the floating opera of life and we feel put here to make observations on same and pass them along to unsuspecting readers who think we are just entertainers.
#10. We write for money as well; we pray to be able to make a living at this “work” that we are passionate about, and if we can’t make a living at it, we spend a lifetime in another job to support the “habit”.
I write for craft and for money, and I have taught writing for over thirty years to support the addiction and the “need”. When I teach a creative writing class, I see two kinds of “writers come through the door – he who sees it as a glamorous thing to be recognized and called a writer or novelist or screenwriter (and most of these fail), and he or she who MUST write in order to breathe more easily, to get the stories and voices out of their heads and off their chests before the panic and pain of NOT writing these things out gets to them. In other words, a poet’s got to write poetry despite the fact there is no money in poetry and no poetry in money. And a woodworker has to work in wood, and a sculptor in stone….so a writer in words.
See if I live up to the ten reasons by picking up a copy of my latest work, DEAD ON. My wife, Miranda’s The WELL MEANING KILLER displays the same NEED to be written on every page.
Happy Writing and please feel free to leave a #11 or #12 etc. as a comment. Would love to hear from you.