This morning, I was reading a blog by Michael K. Rose called “Why Do You Write?” (read his blog here). He took a stab at answering that question and then asked several other authors the same question. Some of the answers were humorous and some sad, but they all had an answer. When I finished reading that blog, I realized I was glad he hadn’t asked me. I didn’t have an answer. So why do I write? I had to give that some thought.
For as long as I can remember, my brain has always entertained me with stories. People who know me know I talk about my brain as a separate entity because I don’t really think I have complete control of it. It’s more like we have an uneasy truce. My brain always seems to be working on stories even when it should be concentrating on other things, which often gets me into trouble.
In school, I was the kid branded a “daydreamer.” You would often find me staring off into space enjoying whatever story Brain had come up with for the day; playing some awesome movie in my head; pissing teachers off.
“Michelle? MICHELLE? Can you tell us the answer?”
“I’m sorry. Were you talking? What was the question?”
That hasn’t really changed much. You can still find my poor Honey saying something similar. “Hey! I was talking to you.”
But the question is: Why do I write? To be honest, I am perfectly happy enjoying Brain’s stories by myself. I’m not like some authors who feel a driving need to get their stories out. They don’t torture me. They entertain me. I have been writing forever, but it was always poetry and maybe a short story here and there; never the big ones. Brain and I always kept those secret.
Well, until the summer of 2010 that is. I shared a few of my brain stories with my sister and best friend. They told me I was crazy not to write them down. I was terrified. I had made several attempts at writing books in the past, but it was so overwhelming I could never stick with it past the first few chapters. I didn’t even know where to start.
But start I did (with some gentle encouragement from my sis and BFF). Once I got going, the story literally poured out. Brain would play little movie snippets in my head, and I would write down what I saw. It was frustrating because Brain, like me, is not especially organized and shows me things out of order. It was still overwhelming, but during that process I discovered something else. It was…fun. I wondered what would happen next. I wasn’t just a spectator, but I became an active participant. I helped bring these characters to life. I created a world that I could share with others. All those times I lost myself in a book, and I realized I could create that for someone else. What an amazing thing. I realized that writing is a gift, and I shouldn’t waste it.
Why do I write? Because I absolutely love it; writing is the greatest adventure of all. There are no limits; no boundaries. I can travel through time, meet supernatural beings, go to far off places, meet new people all of my own creation. How cool is that?