Succumb to the Writing, Why I Do It

Why? Why? Dear god, why?

I find myself asking this very question daily, and each day I seem to come up with a different answer. I’ll give you a sampling:

Most days are spent chronicling the voices in my head. I mean, how else am I to prove that they’re really there? Usually it starts with a whisper. Something like, What if… or Say person A falls into situation B while event C is threatening D. The variables can change by the second. It depends on how long it takes to get to the keyboard once the thought originally occurs. And if I don’t get it right, the voices persist until I do. Stupid stubborn voices.

Some days I find myself lost, stranded in the middle of a story-less desert. I’ll chase plot and character mirages for hours. Each shimmer in the heat, but end up proving a great waste of time. All you can do then is keep moving until that mirage proves itself to be an actual oasis. More often than not, it’s well worth the journey.

Then there are the days that I just want to play god. What I say, goes. I make the rules in which my characters have to follow. I get to torment them as I see fit, and pay them in kind. It should go without saying, but reward and punishment do not follow the rules. What fun would that be. Often on these days my family can hear the echoing Mwahahahahas from all across the house. Those are good days.

Each day has its own obstacles and benefits. The challenges will be new every day and come in varying forms. Some days they might have you staring blankly at the screen (which would be staring blankly back you). Other days might have you swearing out loud. The only upside to that is if you can swear colorfully. Then you should have the presence of mind to write them down. Nothing like colorful swearing. Just ask Harlan Ellison.

The benefits clearly outweigh all of the struggles. As long as you have words on the page, you won. It doesn’t have to be the best, that’s what editing is for. And if you decide not to use it at all, at least you figured out what didn’t work. Make a mistake, learn from it, move on.

One thing’s for certain. I can’t walk away from it. It’s what I do.