I ask myself this as I go through another round of novel edits. Edits that leave me feeling more and more unqualified to be an author of anything, let alone this one story I’ve worked on for ten years now.
What is this insane drive to write, when I may never “amount to anything”, but I still write anyway?
Insanity. I know there’s a touch of it here, but maybe that just makes me human. “We’re all mad here”.
Lately, I’m struggling with these conflicting thoughts while working: “Try again”, “No, that’s worse”, “Leave that bit”, “How could you write something so inane and think it was worth anything?!” or “Wow…how did that fall into place so perfectly?”.
In a whirlwind of conflict, that’s where I am right about now.
So why do I do this to myself?
There’s this insane need (in everyone I think) to hear and be heard. Why is timeout the worst punishment for my almost 3-year-old? Or solitary confinement so mentally taxing on prisoners? (Sorry, I don’t have links, but just go with me here…)
I was looking through some old writing the other day (as my inner voices again mocked what I had once treasured as profound), and came across this portion of a poem:
What is life but a series of
Connections and disconnections?
All influential, ever-changing
Choices of touch and response?
As I looked at it, it slowly sank in more and more. We all want–need–to be touched. To be heard. To be felt. In my opinion, it’s an essential part of living. Without it, we lose a large part of ourselves.
An extension of that “touching”, to me, is writing. It’s an expression of myself, in a myriad of differing forms. The adventurer, the meek one, the villain, the abused, the leader, the criminal, and so on.
That’s why I can’t turn it off. This writing that may never be published, never be read, will continue to pour forth nonetheless, an extension of myself. An ever-reaching hand, desperate to touch and be touched.
That’s why I write.
Why do you write?