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Why I Write

I write because I must.

I write because there is something that calls to me, that forces me to try to make sense of this world. A world that is both sublime and ridiculous. A world that I’ll never truly understand, but which I feel is I might understand if I would just write a little more. So I press on.

The urge has been with me since I was a young child. At that early age, I suppose I write for attention; to be heard and, perhaps even, understood. Writing was something that I could do in isolation that would always bring great comfort, whether I was satisfied with what I had written or, in most cases, not.

As I got older I discovered that there might be a chance that I could be an effective writer and possibly, imagine the thought, make a living doing it. It fulfilled and sustained me then as it does today. And though I’ve been writing for a living off and on for most of the last 3 decades, I believe the muse or voice inside me would call out and force me to put one word in front of the last whether I was paid or not. These days I mostly do it for love.

For me writing is a conversation with an imaginary reader, friend, or even lover. It is a chance to express my most personal personal thoughts without fear of embarrassment or interruption. Writing is often an opportunity to create a dialogue with one person or a thousand. In that it is a strange beast, offering words so personal to such a vague, unknown audience.

I write because it calls to me, makes me happy and completes me. Without writing I think I would be a much more lonely man in this increasingly isolated world. It connects me to others in a way that nothing else can. It completes a circle that starts with the thoughts that are in my head and ends in the same place.

I write because it is the thing that makes me feel most human. It is a joy for me, and it’s thrilling on the rare occasion when I write something that I believe is of superior quality; that represents the true me.
Writing defines me and allows me to help others understand who I am.

Finally, I write because I believe, deep in my soul, that it is the reason I am here. It feels so often like my true calling and purpose. And even though I am so seldom satisfied with the end result, the sensation that I get when I am in the process of writing is like non-other.

There is a story of the writer Henry Miller who would sometimes sit at his typewriter when no words would come to him and say in French, “I am listening.” Like Miller, I too am always listening to that muse within and without.

I am it’s servant. And I will always be listening.

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