Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why Keep Writing...?

An online writer friend is going through some truly difficult times and I've been trying to encourage her to keep going and not give up, and she asked me, why?

"Why are you still writing? Why haven't you given up? Aren't you tired? Don't you want to simply stop sending out stories and getting rejected? You've went through the deaths of ten family members in twelve years. You've had sarcoidosis, degenerative bone disease, diabetes, hurtle cell carcinoma, and that's not counting the other personal problems you've had to deal with as well.  Aren't you exhausted? Why are you still trying to still write?

I had to think about it for a while, because I can’t imagine not writing.

I may take a short break due to family issues, or personal illness, but I always come back to writing. The flow of words on paper or across a blank computer screen is akin to a form of magic. And that’s one heady fix my friends.

For a moment in time, I am creator. And my pallet of choice is infinite. I can bring characters to life or snuff them out faster than an exhaled breath on a candle. With so many options, writing can seem daunting at first. But the rewards can be endless.

Real life can be brutal and cruelly unfair. As creator of my own universe of stories, I can see to it the cute guy down the hall asks the chubby girl for a date and they fall in love. The kid with the bad acne the bullies called “pizza face,” grows up to become a handsome lead actor. The cheating husband gets taught a lesson, and murder victims are avenged. Every emotion explored, from humor and passion, to anger and grief. All is possible.

When pain or sadness touches my life, I often use writing as a catharsis. To start the healing process after battling a major illness, or to honor those I’ve lost, and climb from the dark pit of depression.

Cheaper than a shrink and healthier than booze.

I get a sense of accomplishment every time I complete an article or a story, whether it sees publication or not. However, there is no bigger high than to see your byline in a magazine, your latest e-book available online, or to walk through a bookstore and see your name on the spine of a book. The rush is incredible.

Why do I write? I know it's sure not for the money. Many of us make less with our writing in a year than a greeter at Walmart makes in two months.

I write because it’s a part of me…maybe the best part. And I love it.