Who We Are Inside

By opening our literary veins and spilling something akin to blood on paper, we are able to somehow be the people we really are inside.–Jeff Fielder, fellow Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist

Why do you write? Not for the money, surely, as there isn’t much in it for most of us.

Is it your love of language? I don’t know about you, but there’s something about a well-turned phrase that tickles my inner thesaurus. Nevertheless, I’ve come across writers who can’t seem to put two words together in a logical sequence, but still, they write.

Is writing your one-man/woman-crusade to correct bad grammar, poor spelling, and sloppy punctuation? Some of us are hopelessly picky about such things. I once corrected the spelling on a hastily scrawled note my friend left for her family. She was cheeky enough to laugh at me, but right is right.

Are you a good story-teller? I love stories. I believe in their power to inform, transform, reform. And there’s always the good old-fashioned entertainment factor.

Maybe you’re the kind of person who can’t help but describe what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel with intense accuracy, because you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel things intensely. It just happens. I remember walking into a reeking bat exhibit at the Memphis Zoo and exclaiming, “Ew. It smells like a diaper that’s been in the pail three days too long.” My sister-in-law shook her head at me. “You can tell you’re a writer,” she said. “Anyone else would have just said, ‘It stinks in here.'”

Is it the challenge of expressing your thoughts–your very heart–in a way that stirs the soul of another human being? Ah, now perhaps we’re getting somewhere.

Or is it simply that God put words in you that clamor to get out? Truths that itch to be etched across a sheet of paper or a computer screen.

Whatever it is, I think Jeff Fielder pegged it. For me at least.

Why do I write?

Because it’s who I really am inside.

Published in: on March 16, 2008 at 8:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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