Why do I write?

Writing is hard. Really I mean it. Just getting that bit out was tough enough, and now as a writer even as I’m typing this I’m already critiquing it. I’m thinking about how this opening looks to the reader and I’m already trying to re-edit this whole piece as I’m writing it. Now at this point I’m worried what the reaction is to calling myself a writer without really having the work handily available for you to read over and nod in agreement. Now I’m thinking of ways to make that sentence shorter.

You see how it can be? Writing is sometimes nothing but a form of self torture, a constant reminder that you’re failing at something right in the middle of doing it. No one gets it right first time, but a writer is someone who strives to let their fingers and brain work in symbiotic relationship where the fingers are typing just as fast as the brain can think it. Of course it never actually works like that. The same way that a sculptor might look upon a lump of clay or the painter at a blank canvass, the writer stares at a blank page and wonders “What the hell do I do now?”. Then there’s that blinking cursor, alternately appearing and vanishing again, taunting you to press your fat fingers down and scrawl a mess of words that make a sentence, then when you’re done it blinks at you again as if to say “Really? You’re stopping now?”. Of course a writer is never stopping, not really. Being a writer means having the compulsion to get rid of all the stuff that’s sat in your head lest it explodes from all the words and ideas floating around in there. Or the occasional horrible metaphor. Writing is like trying to control a massive herd all by yourself. Sometimes there’s just too much there and they break free, never to come back. However, some you manage to get in safely and you feel proud knowing that hey, some might have died but these survived.

It’s a weird compulsion that drives a writer. I could happily be watching CSI or something right now, and I probably will do once I’m done here. But Instead I’m writing this blog post because I have to, the same way a fat man has to eat a cake (I have experience there too). So why do it? Why submit to this horrible torture when you could do something else that offers instant gratification, like shooting passers by with an air-gun, or masturbation? Well I don’t have the answer to that yet and if not knowing is the thing that drives me to write then I’ll happily take ignorance over enlightenment any day. Maybe I’m just a masochist, except without all the hurty bits and the safe words.

There, I’m done. Now how do I make this thing stop blinking at me…



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