Why Write?

Yesterday, I got my rental violin and I was so excited, I felt like a kid at Christmas. This morning, when I woke up, I started thinking about it in relation to my writing. I don’t feel that excitement when I sit down to write. Why not?

When I write, it is sometimes scary and sometimes hard. Every once in a while, I feel a tinge of excitement, if my character is doing something I really enjoy writing about. When I am done, I feel content and fulfilled. It is when I am finally published that I feel a lot of excitement.

When I was in college, I was on the newspaper staff. Every time I saw one of my stories in print, I felt that excitement, although not to the extent I did yesterday. Writing was fun. Writing was exciting. When did I lose that?

Writing has become a part of me, just like eating and sleeping. I don’t function well if I don’t write. I don’t sleep well and I tend to eat too much. I feel stressed.

Perhaps that is what being a writer is all about. It is about the writing being a part of you. Whenever you see something interesting, you tell yourself “there’s a story in that”. I know I do.  I feel sorry for those people who don’t have an imagination. They must lead a boring life.

That’s where we come in. As writers, it is our job to help them imagine, to lead them to places they have never been and could not imagine themselves. If they can’t have a fantasy world of their own, it’s our job to give them one. We want to make it the best it can be.

There is nothing we can do for those who don’t read, unless we are screenwriters. I’m not, but I have toyed with the idea. I wrote a couple of short plays when I was a child. I even got my cousins to act one of them out. They had fun. I was nervous as to how it would go over. They acted in front of family so of course it went over well. My cousins loved doing it and it showed. That made it exciting for everyone. It was a collaboration.

Most writing is done solo. Some writers have a writing partner, but I’m sure that would work with me. What if our ideas clashed? How would we resolve that? Would someone feel unfilled? Would someone feel as if they haven’t really contributed? That is why I prefer to work alone.

Yes, writing can be lonely. But it isn’t. Not really. We have our characters with us at all times. They become real to us, sometimes more so than the real people around us.

 Did I just write that? Shame on me. Our characters are real. Who am I to say otherwise?

So, I will leave you with an assignment today. Ask your character what excites them and when was the last time they were excited. You can write that in your story, if you want. Is your character depressed? Have something that used to excite them and make them more depressed because they can no longer feel that excitement. Have fun with it.

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