Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why I write

This is a question I ask myself periodically because as anybody who does write - at least those writing for the fiction market - it can be not only lonely but full of rejection.

So, why do I write? Well, it enriches my life. Not in terms of significant financial gain - yet, but in so many other ways.

It’s a process that helps me explore ideas, thoughts and even worlds that are not necessarily available to me in my everyday life. I can use my imagination and explore all kinds of worlds and places. I can work through all the emotional aspects of human nature and relationships, whether good, bad or evil. Often in interviews, writers - particularly crime/mystery/thriller writers - will state that they get to kill someone in their novels without going to jail. Most of us can probably relate to that.

But we can also do good. We can bring life to a range of worlds, ideas and fantasies for others and give them the reading ride of their lives. This is not just for children - although important - but adults as well.

I remember as a kid reading Jules Verne and then seeing the movies. Both were fun experiences but reading allowed me to stay within myself and at the same time use my imagination to safely explore the world Mr. Verne was offering. I fear that fewer children today get to experience such reading joy because for all that Harry Potter did for this effort, there is still a dearth of encouragement for children to simply read. Competition is fierce for their attention from so many other sources and while those other sources have merit, reading needs to remain a top priority.

Reading develops the vocabulary, social and brain skills of children in ways that other processes can’t. Our challenge as adults and as a society is to figure out ways to bring balance to our children’s lives with regard to all the entertainment options that they have. Yes, I said entertainment because too many regard reading more as a chore than a source of entertainment.

Just as fast food led to less time at the family dinner table, and therefore communicating with one another, advances in technology have led to less time reading.

Balance is the key and once a child learns the joy of reading and what fun it can be, the world becomes a better place for all.

1 comment:

Morgan Mandel said...

I got hooked on reading at an early age in grammar school. It took longer for me to get hooked on writing - about 14 years ago, and now can't stop.

Morgan Mandel