Thursday, January 27, 2011

Why Do I Write?

I agree with Jeri. We write because we enjoy it. Don't we? I found a stack of our writer's group newsletters from 1997-1998 as I was cleaning out and the following is what I had written many years ago in answer to that title question.

"Why DO I write? Why do I get out of bed at 4:00 in the morning when most sane people are still snuggled in bed dreaming? Why do I stress myself out struggling to finish a book in six months for a December publication date, and then have my editor say my Christmas-themed book will be out in February or March?

Why do I have projects piling up, one upon another while I struggle for one more page, and then another, not quite ignoring the pleas to get the ironing done, but tuning them out temporarily?

Why do I give up a walk in the early morning hours when the desert is at its very best just to stare into the computer, then irritate my carpal tunnel even more?

My daughter calls it my self-imposed craziness, meeting deadlines my editor has not even imposed on me; driving 6000 miles in 16 states by myself on research for a book that may or may not be accepted. Why do I do these things to myself?

Frankly, my dears, I don't know. I only know that God created in me a desire to be a story-teller, and those stories are bursting to come out. So my family pictures will never be put on video or in albums, my garden will never be weed-free. I'll always be 10 pounds overweight from lack of good, regular exercise (at least until my husband retires and drags me out two or three times a week to walk 18 holes of golf.)

I'll continue to feel stressed until the last chapter is written and revised and revised again, and made and perfect as I can make it - and then I'll take out 48,000 of those precious words that I struggled so hard to put in - and condense it for book on tape. That is the ultimate horror. It's akin to thinning those little green peaches that you've nurtured, pulling half of those tiny little carrots that finally peeked their little green heads up. It's like killing those little babies you've fertilized and weeded and nurtured and watered and watched grow.

Why do I write? Because when I'm creating, I'm not just whole. I'm more than the sum of me. It's like birthing a child when you create a book. Through the written word, you can introduced someone else into your world, that fertile vivid world of your imagination.

Books, ideas, stories help lift one a little higher, give an hour of pleasure, bring a new world of knowledge, new ideas, new horizons. If I can bring a little pleasure into someone's life, why should I decry a little pain from the birthing of that pleasure. That is why I write."

Footnote: In the couple of years that I have taken off from writing - I actually have had all my pictures scanned and digitized and my to-do list of projects is diminishing! Now that I'm writing again, I fear they are all on hold once again.

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