Sunday, October 11, 2015

Writer's World View

I wasn't going to write a blog post today.  Then, a writer in a group wrote the equivalent of a "Good bye cruel world." announcing she was quitting writing because she wouldn't become rich or famous or make it onto the New York Times Best Seller's list.  She declared herself not a writer and that she never would be.

Immediately, the answers flew, fast and furious, "Fine, you're not a writer, because you quit." ran the tenor of some, and "why?" came from others, and "If you got into this for money and fame, you weren't into this for the writing."

Writing is a choice, just as love is a choice.  Sometimes writing requires as much iron will as getting up in the middle of the night for the third time.  It demands we work when we don't feel it, work when we don't like it, and write every day, even if we're tired, our stomachs are bloated from eating dinner too late in the evening, and we'd rather sleep, watch baseball, do anything but pound on those damn keys.  

Writers write even when there are no stats, demands, checks, reviews, or praise that comes with it.   When there is nothing left but the raw nerve that screams write, the writer writes because that raw nerve demands it. Just as love is not merely an emotion but a choice, so also writing, is something which no one can stop you from choosing to quit, but likewise, no one can force you to continue. It is an act of the will.

I don't know if the lady just wanted attention or if she meant it when she declared herself quitting, but I thank her for making me think about why I write.  Because there is something to this weaving of words I cannot not do, even if I have nothing other to say than, "Write! Write!" and "Write some more."

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