Sometimes I will get people that ask me, “why do you write?” Or, “why did you even start writing? What’s the fun in it?”
Because really, all a writer does is stare at a blank page with pen in hand, or a blank computer screen with fingers posed above the keyboard and ramble on nonsense from their head.
Writing isn’t just me rambling on. (Okay, maybe sometimes it is.) Ninety percent of the time, my writing has purpose. It has direction. It has focus. And it has a world all it’s own.
Well, at least when the characters decide to listen and stay on track for me.
It’s so much more than just writing anything down though. It’s an expression of myself, an art. A very difficult one. There was a quote that I found that I believed summed up writing in the easiest way to show all those non-authors out there that it isn’t just throwing words on a piece of paper.
It went like this:
“Writing is like giving yourself homework, really hard homework, every day, for the rest of your life. You want glamorous? Throw glitter on the computer screen.” -Katrina Monroe
And that’s really the truth. Non-authors have no idea how many hours we put into a book. How many times we stare blankly at the words we typed, or a blank screen. How many times we want to throttle our characters because they have a mind of their own and throw us a plot twist. How many times we feel with the characters — anger, sadness, disappointment, loss, fury, betrayal, all of it. How many rewrites and edits we do. How long we spend tearing our hair out in frustration and cursing in made up languages because things aren’t going right. How often we have to fix gaping plot holes somehow, or try to tame the raging plot bunnies. And how much heart and soul we put into a book.
So, I know why I write.
Simply because if I didn’t, I’m fairly sure I would go crazy with all the ideas that are bouncing around up in my head. But I never really thought about what I learned about myself through writing.
Until I was asked a question by a good friend and author about what I have learned about myself through writing.
And that’s when I realized:
Writing, to me, isn’t just about the characters and their story; it’s so much more than that. To me, writing is about finding yourself. You explore the deepest parts of your mind, the complete depths of emotion and thought. Every twisted nook and cranny. Every dark alley you never knew you possessed. Every saddened and plucked heart string. Every rush of pure joy that you never knew you could feel so elated. Every crippling fear and thought you tried to bury and destroy. Each and every little thing comes up, forcing you to face it in writing. For me, in writing, I didn’t learn just who my characters were, I started to see myself in them. Little tidbits here and there, pieces of a personality that together fit together like a puzzle to reveal myself, at my core. I saw myself, a reflection of who I am, and who I wish I was.
It’s a past and a future; an accomplishment and a new goal of my life.
Writing is who I am in so many mixed forms.
Writing is life.