Why I Write...
Why we write…?
What makes us write, what innate human motivator is responsible, that is?
What need does this fill, what longing ache, what want un-satisfied?
While others may paint and create objects, build towering buildings of glass and steel, why do I sit here and ponder, how they ever accomplished this? [Ed-Cause you suck at Math?]
I will say that I still don’t consider myself a writer. I've not achieved the milestones that one would generally assume as qualifying one as such. I, like almost everyone, attended writing classes, even creative writing classes in high school and college level, but if I can remember a lesson in any of them, I've long forgotten it. Mostly I just read a lot of books, perhaps more than others my age when I was young. Read, Read, Read, most authors will tell you, the language will come to you naturally.
I’m still waiting for the naturally part, as it is no easy task to fend off the stress of coming up with something I feel worthy to write about. My interests are so varied; it creates a literal swirl of topics, all colliding and whisking away from the tornado in my mind.
When I was a young lad, my Aunt in Chicago gave me her childhood copy of The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. She told me I would like them a lot, and to be sure to read every one of them. Well, ‘enjoy’ turned out to be an understatement, as my young, sheltered mind was quite literally blown wide open with incredible images of mysterious creatures, plotting evil witches, and four siblings on the adventure of their lives. I was like that boy in the movie ‘Neverending Story’, obsessively reading page by page, yelling out passionate and emotional outbursts whenever the story shocked or surprised me!
Every night, there I was staying up way past my bedtime; until my eyelids finally began their slow fall to the pillow. I felt I was walking into that world, and living out those incredible adventures right alongside Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. I was amazed that one human being could create so much depth, so much dialog, so many characters and unique places to visit. I became hooked on reading directly after the sweet sorrow which was the last book in the series. I was so inspired by this [and a couple of the first Nintendo RPG’s] that I started writing my own little fantasy story. Ha! Who was I kidding? I hadn't a clue about punctuation, pacing, character progression or grammar at that age [still don’t, in fact] [Ed- as we can see!]. I just wrote whatever and however I felt like on that day. It was sporadic and I may have bitten off more that I could chew.
“Writing is HARD!” After the first couple pages of my young boy scribble, in inks of blue and black and sometimes even pencil, I was wondering where I was going with all of this? I say sporadic because life efficiently distracted me, as it so often does from writing, and there were great gaps of time before I finally returned to my future masterpiece. A page here, a paragraph there, middle school came and went, a burst of pages in 9th grade…nothing for a few years. Then one day, as a high school senior, I rediscovered this old tattered manuscript, written on a plain white legal notepad and kept in a heavy black binder. It was quite amusing, and revelatory, to see how my handwriting changed throughout the years. Not just this, but the language and words, the sophistication of plot and dialog that grew exponentially better over time. [Ed-Sure it did.]
It was far from finished, in fact, barely cracked open was more like the epic plot I had in mind. But I was proud of it nonetheless. Not sure why. Because at least I started something Great? Because I once thought of myself as a writer? Because I had a level of imagination and intensity to (attempt to) complete something powerful once upon a time?
Perhaps this, perhaps only for the fact that I wished, and still do…to somehow differentiate myself from everyone else on the planet. I want to be remembered for something. I want a 11thgrade American Literature class to crack open page 1, chapter 1 of “King Lorik -Tales of Pretty Cool Adventure Stuff in the Land of Some Pretty Far-Off Place, that has, like…Dragons or something! ….And Hairy Guys with Sw-ords!”
[Ed- I loved that book!]
P.S. Major Bonus points for anyone whom gets the King Lorik reference…withOUT googling it!