Okay first off, I want to offer an apology to all my friends in the blogosphere. Since the sweat started, I just sort of stopped reading. Quite a few people are, I think, taking a hiatus from staying in the loop so to speak. I’m so so so busy right now with both my jobs and trying to find time to write isn’t easy. Something had to go and daily blog reading was it (sorry, sleep wasn’t an option). To those of you who have continued stopping by here to read whatever I throw out into the Void, thank you! I hope that I continue to write something that someone besides myself finds interesting.
So today I have motivation on my mind. Pot has hit the second week emotional slump in Nano and I’ve been trying to peptalk her. Not sure how good a job I’ve been doing. It’s got me thinking about why she or I or anybody writes.
If someone asks me why I write, the answer is simple. I have to. It’s not a choice. It’s like breathing or sleeping or eating. It’s not always easy or fun or enjoyable. I do it anyway. My husband, who often gets ignored in this process (bless him), has learned that I’m a much happier wife when I’m writing. It gives me an emotional outlet for things that I might otherwise take out on him. So on that level, it’s cathartic. But beyond that there is a competitive element. I read a lot (or did before I got so heavily into daily word goals) and there’s so much out there that I’ve looked at and said “I’m at least that good. If not better.” And then I set out to prove it. There’s also an element of control. I’m a Type A control freak. I admit it. Probably a support group out there somewhere that I would benefit from. I totally get a charge out of having complete mastery over worlds I create. Add to that a fundamental love of words and a soul deep yearning to create. There are other creative pursuits I enjoy. Sewing. Home improvement (yes I see that as creative…I like to build stuff). Interior decorating. But none of it affirms me like writing. And none of it captures my full attention. When I’m writing, whatever the story happens to be, it is constantly in my head. Think I’m paying 100% attention to our conversation? Sorry to disappoint…my attention is split between two worlds. The real one and mine. I am consumed by the story. By an absolute need to know what happens next. Sometimes that’s an active decision on my part. Others, it’s as if it’s being revealed to me by some higher power and I’m just the vessel. I’m not sure any of this is coherent. It’s just what’s on my mind this morning.
What about the rest of you? Why do you write? And if it isn’t because it’s a necessary thing like breathing, what is it that motivates you to keep going when you don’t have to?
Well, since up to a point, we are very similar, there’s no point in me rehashing what you just said or what we just talked about.
The observation that I have is that when people talk about how they have to write, I feel like I need to say that I used to feel that, but when it became too painful, I quashed it like the addiction that it was. I don’t have to do it anymore. And often I feel that makes me less in these discussions.
Nice to be reminded, that we do have so much in common, as it makes me feel more part of the club again.
I say it’s an addiction and like breathing, so I can’t really tell you.
Though sometimes I will want to just quit, but I know that I wouldn’t, not really, so I feel like, if I’m going to do it anyway, I may as well give it my all. 😀 (I’ve *tried* quitting, and find myself off in my own worlds and thinking up things anyway.)
I’ve noticed a couple of people (including myself) have taken a bit of a step back from the world of the blogs. I do still stop by to see what’s up, so you are not speaking into a complete void 🙂 I think I write just because I want to see where the story will go. Most of the time, I just want to tell the story. It’s not a moral or ethics issue for me – I just have to tell the story. Thanks for the insight into your writing and have a wonderful Sunday!
I can’t say I’m compelled to write. I do, and I love it, but it’s not like eating or sleeping or breathing to me. I can go days without typing or writing a single word. What I can’t shut off are the stories in my head. I do want to publish and to continue to publish good stories, but what I am, I think, more than a writer is a storyteller. So I find a way to spin stories into everything I do, from my coaching clients, to my relationship with my spouse and family, to my job as a project manager. It’s all about telling stories. To be a writer, I have to put my stories on paper and make sure they are crafted well. Getting the words on the page is more about discipline for me than it is about that compulsion to write.
With all you’re doing, M, it’s no wonder you’ve stepped back from the blogsphere. There are weeks I don’t check more than Tess Gerritsen’s blog. And where I don’t even attend to my own. Seasons in life, that’s what it’s about. And this season has you needing to chose to pay attention to what’s in front of you rather than what’s in the ether of the internet.