Absence and Absinthe

English: John Steinbeck

English: John Steinbeck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing can be toxic, like a drug, if used for purposes other than restorative and healing. I’ve found myself lately thinking about writing in ways that I’d hoped I never would. I began to compare my writing with those who I did not want to emulate, but whose style I felt pressure to conform to. I started to think of writing as a means to an end, an elevator to circumvent life’s ladder. I had begun to hope my writing would take me to where my life would begin.

Steinbeck wrote the following in the journal he kept while writing “East of Eden,” –

“In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable. And sometimes if he is very fortunate and if the time is right, a very little of what he is trying to do trickles through – not ever much. And if he is a writer wise enough to know it can’t be done, then he is not a writer at all. A good writer always works at the impossible.”

Those words have struck me into silence. Not because I’ve nothing to say, but because I was writing without saying much. If I’ve neglected putting down my thoughts here for some time, it’s because I have only but one thought left on writing, on creating novels, and on this whole thing that you and I have set out to do. It is that I haven’t yet begun.

For too long I was trapped in my notions of what was possible.

I wish to start again, from the beginning, and work on the impossible.

Why?

I recently ran across a post by a fellow blogger (you can read it here)where he asked the question, “Why do you write?”

Audience?

Audience? (Photo credit: orkomedix)

People always say that if you are in it for the money and fame, you should probably find another thing to occupy your time. I didn’t think I was, but honestly, I’d never really thought about it much. I just write, that’s all. Why do I need a reason?

But there is always a reason, isn’t there?

After thinking about it for all of ten seconds, the answer came to me. I wrote this:

“I write because I’ve always felt that no one listened to me, so I thought maybe they would read what I had to say instead.”

For you writers out there, why do you write? Do you know?