Why Do I Write?

Every so often when you've been working on writing projects, be they scripts, short stories, poems or whatever, you might reach a blocking point; a point in which you just can't find the words to follow the ones you've already typed/scribbled down. Sometimes, at these points, the self-doubt can kick in and the legitimacy of the whole project can be called into question. It's when this crushing self-doubt kicks in that I need to take a breath and remind myself why I write in the first place. 


There are so many times in our lives where we don't have any or very-little control of what goes on around us. We can't stop the cab whose breaks failed and are barreling towards a crowded street corner. We can't stop natural disasters from ripping islands apart. We can't stop the Earth from careening into asteroid fields during it's yearly rotation around the sun. We have no say in that. We can however, create worlds using the power of our words alone and in that plane we reign supreme.

The Start of writing a new story is better than any sugar rush, drunk buzz or extracurricular high, for me. Nothing gets the blood pumping through my cerebellum better than when I'm trying to craft a world. Sometimes it takes a lot of planning, sometimes it's just a few key phrases that set the tone for the universe I'm building. When ideas start clicking into place  like Lego's I can get lost in my own head imagining and crafting the various details and people who will inhabit my world. I hardly ever feel that writer's loneliness in the beginning stages of writing. 


Through writing, you can step behind the lenses of another person, riding shotgun on their experiences. You can assume the mantle of someone you've never met, never been like, and might not ever meet. You can endure their feelings, take a completely different political stance, "walk a mile in another man's shoes". Call it an escape if you want, or a vacation. For a little while, when you're writing as a character, you're not yourself anymore. You don't have to think about what a terribly boring day tomorrow is going to be at work. You just have to unravel your story through your character. They can feel whatever you like, whatever the story needs, and this disassociation from yourself, for me, helps me when I come back to the real world. Sometimes writing is just the sort of thinking time I need in order to process something stressful that was going on, or helps me see the other side of an argument a friend and I were having. I feel more well-rounded as a thinking human when I'm able to get some writing in.  


Finally, I write to find something worth saying. So many books and movies and video games leave you with a lasting, resounding message that you can carry with you through the rest of your existence. I would like to have someone read a piece I wrote and come away from it thinking slightly different. Finding that 'something' is tricky. Sometimes it's not intentional, as with all forms of art, to a degree your work is subjective. I don't necessarily wish to seek fame or fortune, but if I can write something that resounds with others, something that one way or another motivates folks to do whatever their calling is, then I will consider myself a successful writer.

This is why I write. To help myself, to effect others, to change the world ever so slightly and have fun doing it.