Thursday, February 28, 2008

why I write

Question: Why do you write?

Short answer: because I was no good at the guitar.

Seriously, though...
I don't remember a time when I wasn't writing. It's a cliche thing to say, but writing was something that came naturally to me, and gave me more confidence than drawing or music. And it's not that I lacked skills in either of those pursuits--it's just that it was harder to achieve the results that my writing achieved. What's more, I liked both the process and the results. and I like the way I feel when complimented for both.

And I wrote anything I could: stories, essays, poetry (really bad poetry, I might add), letters, you name it. I started keeping a diary when I was 13 and haven't stopped since. Still write all of the above (not so much stories in terms of short fiction, but if you saw my emails to my friends, many are loaded w/ stories), and more.

When I'm not physically writing, I'm mentally writing. I'm hearing conversations between characters in the shower, visualizing a setting in the car (the worst is when I'm listening to a book on tape on the way to school, and suddenly start mapping out a scene for my own novel, only to realize that I just missed the whole scene from the audiobook), drafting a letter to an old love as I'm falling asleep, making up new stuff during watching mindless tv, and so on. Composing, I like to say.

I write because I have something to say.
I write because I have something to respond to.
I write because a truth needs to be told.
I write because I have a lot to think about.
I write because I can.
Because I love language.
Because I feel something.
Because I love to do it.
To make people laugh. Or mad. Or happy. Or verklempt.
To give someone a chance to see or think about things in ways he/she may not have previously done so.
To communicate.

I write because I breathe.

I've gone through periods of my life when I've done very little reading, or painting, or playing music. I was a psychology major as an undergrad. I've made and lost friends, fallen in and out of love, gone through times of turbulance and tranquility. Throughout it all, writing was the one constant, the thing that never left me, that I always counted on (even during writers block. it was there, even though it wasn't saying anything). I can't imagine a life w/out writing, nor would I ever want to. I am a writer in the way I am a twin-- I simply don't know how to be otherwise.

Oh, and by the way, the reason why I was so bad at the guitar was because I was left-handed. I didn't figure this out until about four years ago, when I bought an acoustic designed for a lefty and began teaching myself. And I found out that I'm actually not bad at all, especially when I practice (and I haven't practiced in a long time). But I'm still not *that* good...

In Retrospect:
So, after re-reading the Welcome post, I have two comments to make. One: the book to which I refer is actually called The Rhetorical Tradition (left out the The). Two: The wikipedia definition of kairos kinda sucks. So if any sophists want to offer a better def, please do so!

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