Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why I write

A fellow writer told me about a dream she recently had where she just published a piece of writing, and then said to a friend, "I'm grateful for the work but I know that when it finally gets published, that good feeling is pretty fleeting." And I know from experience that that sentiment is true. With every goal I reach, I feel good for a fraction of the time that it took to get there.

So why bother writing? I had a glimpse of my answer on Sunday. After writing for a few hours--the miserable kind of writing, where I grumbled the whole time, wondering what the f I was doing, wondering why I don't just give up and spend my time, oh, making cocktails--I had my very own Ah-Ha moment. Something clicked in my story. I got perspective and saw that my way into the story was through using my character's perception of the setting (the hospital) to mirror my character's feelings (confusion and anger about her marriage).

It felt so good to get those pieces to click! As good as meeting any external goal (graduating from a degree program, publishing a newspaper story) has ever felt. And it's lasted a lot longer, too. In fact, I'm still riding on the feeling, which has allowed me to write a little bit of the story each day without grumbling and wanting a drink.

So that's why I write. For the feeling that comes from finally--finally!--making a story work.

Though getting published would be nice, too. :)

I'd love to hear why you write. Leave a comment. Best Blogger Tips


Anonymous said...

Inspiring post, Bug! As a matter of fact, I'm using it as a prompt for my blog entry...

Writer Bug said...

Ooh. Exciting! I'll check out your blog right now.

Repeater said...

I had to go back- I've missed a lot of blog posts. I'm sorry you've been having a hard time lately. Just remember (though you've heard it a million times and it's nearly impossible to remember when you're going through it): writing is a cycle & there has to be that down time. You will come back up again & when you do, it'll be fabulous.
So I'm back to reading your blogs! (not quite there myself, but I may come back)Hang in there bug.

Repeater said...

Oh, I forgot to say, glad you had that ah-ha moment, so it looks like you're climbing back up that slope. And sorry about your bunnies- my lord, they're cute. Also, your house looks amazing. So sorry we didn't get out there.
Oh, and the Cynthia Ozick: I read "Heir to the Glimmering World"- excellent. I bought another (can't remember which one right now), but I'll let you know.

Writer Bug said...

Welcome back to blog-land, Repeater! And thanks for your comments. Sigh. I think that one word just about captures my summer. Sigh.

January said...

I agree. It's nice to have those little Aha moments, which I consider a bonus to finishing a poem.

And it makes getting published that much sweeter.

Becca said...

I've had a couple of those moments in writing, but lots of them in music, and I know just what you mean :)

I write because (at least at this point in my writing life) it helps me appreciate the world and life in a different way and encourages me to consider the world around me more thoughtfully.