In the modern age, the veil has been lifted on the mysteries of writing. Social media and self-publishing have taken some of the panache out. I'm not here to argue the pros or cons of that, it's just an observation.
There are countless writers online, editors, publishers, reviewers, bloggers, book doctors, and witty or inspirational quotes like the one at the top of this post. The internet is locked and loaded for all things writerly.
Despite the heavy traffic, most of us don't find fame or fortune.
So why do it?
One of the quotes I've seen on numerous occasions says some version of this: "Writer's have to write, they can't help themselves."
Nothing could be further from the truth for me.
On any given day I could, without any thought, come up with at least ten reasons why I can't write. The biggest is, I don't want to. After The Last Day for Rob Rhino got published I didn't write anything other than the occasional blog for a year. Easy peasy. Since hubs retired, lying by the pool, champagne in hand is quite a temptation. I could do that instead of write at the pop of a cork.
But yet, I write. Because I think it's my job, a responsibility.
Most of us will never cure cancer, lead the free world, or broker world peace. It's up to the writers to record the lives of the rest of us. To tell the every day, often difficult, stories that would otherwise go unnoticed. We illuminate the extraordinary ordinary.
Anyone familiar with this blog knows I write frequently about my Granddaughter, Adelia. I must, her story is important. If I don't write it, who can? We don't know what her life- span will be, but anytime she wants to, my daughter can look at what I've written and know that her daughter matters, that her life, with all its pain and joy, raises the bar on living. Her struggles, her courage, mean something, everything. If not, how could a mother bear it? So, I write it.
I write so my husband and children can know me better. Can better understand me, what I value, what I think, and so they might feel my love for them. At the heart of all fiction, mine included, lies an uncomfortable, even ugly truth. It's all there, on every page - my regrets, mistakes, weaknesses, and longings.
I write to be heard, to be loved.
I write to breathe life into what I've lost. If I write about friendships I'll always have them. I write about mothers so mine will never really be dead. I write about fathers because I wanted one. And as long as I write about husbands, sons or daughters, mine will live forever.
Finally, I write because I choose it.
I'll keep on choosing it till I get to the end of my story.