Why do I write? I’ve been hoping you would ask!
I believe the first complete book I wrote was called Mirror of Death. Let me elaborate on “complete book” though. I was somewhere between seven and nine years old. I loved to read and I evidently got it into my head that I would also be a fantastic writer.
I cut up a sheet of standard computer paper from our printer into several small rectangles. I stapled those sheets of paper between two slightly larger rectangular pieces of cardboard. Subsequently, I wrapped the cardboard from the inside front to the inside back piece in silver wrapping paper to serve as my book cover. It was a highly metallic silver, fairly reflective, and thus the name Mirror of Death arose. I scrawled the title across the front in black Sharpie marker. I filled in the pages in my hasty and scribbled handwriting with a story about a mirror at the fair that ate people – at least as best as I can remember the mirror lived at the fair. As a finishing touch, I glued a small strip of ribbon to the front and back inside cardboard edge and used it to tie a bow as a closure for my very first book. I can still remember every detail of the book making process and am proud of it to this day as a very creative thing to do.
I’ve no idea what my parents thought about the title, I’m sure they asked me why I didn’t write about something happy and fluffy like cotton candy. Later in my childhood, still prior to my teenage years, I put together a newsletter for my parents and made them each buy separate copies from my stand on the dining table. I enlisted my younger sister’s help; she was in charge of the Joke of the Day section. I was partial to the Poetry Corner.
I tell you these things about me because to answer the question “Why do I write” I thought it best to lead with “When did my writing start”. You see, I’ve felt compelled to write for far longer than I’ve considered why I do it or even if I should do it. I wrote poem after poem in high school. I started a series about a ghost with my friends on an old typewriter my parents bought me at a garage sale. I researched publishing companies and sent off for all of the free information packets before I was old enough for even a driver’s license.
I write because I am. I am a lover of words. I am an ardent reader. I am an escapist always looking for my next adventure away from reality and often that adventure must be created by yours truly.
I write because I can, because no one can stop me. I write because I can find the most beautiful combination of words just as an artist finds the most beautiful medium to communicate their passion. I write to express myself. I write to put myself in the place of others and give voice to their joys and their woes. I honestly want to write to receive an income but I’ll be honest, I haven’t made it that far yet.
I write because words are powerful tools in the rebuilding of oneself in the midst of heartache or difficulty. I write because words can be the sincerest embrace or the deadliest weapon and I often have need to utilize both. I write to find out my own deepest, darkest secrets that must otherwise remain hidden and polite.
I write in the hopes that I will be read. I write so that others may be inspired. I write for others to find the adventure and the hope that I myself find in the books of so many talented authors who took the time to write and submit and to try again.
I write because I believe writing is a part of me, not necessarily as natural as breathing but similarly satisfying. For years I forgot this part of me; I put it aside and sought financial securities instead. Then my life got a little bumpy. Domestic bliss was less than blissful. A deep depression was slurping dry my joy and hunching my shoulders forward with the weight of all the things I couldn’t say to those I love. When I picked up pen again the words didn’t flow they gushed.
I write without regard to rejection, though not without sting, because I want to improve and I want to be true to myself. I relish the freedom found in these unremarkable black and white letters when placed on a page in an orderly fashion though all around order is otherwise abandoned.