Not everyone who blogs is a writer. I mean, obviously everyone is a writer of some sort if they are taking the time to write a blog. Right? Bloggers blog for different reasons- each personal and specific to themselves and their lives. Not everyone who has a blog is doing it to write though. The foodie might really only want to share his or her fantastic concoction with the world. A book lover could get deep satisfaction from reviewing books to introduce them to other avid readers. And along with sharing their passion with the world, they have to write.
Then there are WRITERS. If you are a writer, you know it. Being a writer has nothing to do with being published. It has to do with writing. Plain and simple.
I write because if I didn’t, I would go crazy. I have been writing as long as I can remember. I wrote a series as a teenager. It’s horrible. Embarrassing, really. My goal is to re-write the entire series as it should be written. Someday… But anyway, I wrote these stories- handwritten on notebook paper that is yellowing and smells sort of musty. My teen age handwriting probably reveals more about me at that age than I would like to remember. I love those stories, as awful as they are. Why? Because of the characters in them. Those were my first “babies”. And when I look at those stories, even after all these years, in my head they jump to life. I did not do them justice on paper. I’ve got an enormous undertaking lying ahead.
When I moved out of my parents’ house, I packed my stories up in a box and lugged it along with all of my worldly possessions. That box followed me everywhere until the last move, 18 years ago. We piled all the boxes in the garage when we moved in and it took us months, years really, to go through them. Some are still sitting out there- nothing more than trash at this point but once important enough to schlep from apartment to apartment to condo to house. I went looking for my stories about 15 years ago. I searched all the key storage spots in the house. It was only as I was running out of places to look that complete and utter panic set in.
I asked my husband if he knew where the box was. He asked if I remembered what it looked like. My answer? “Brown. Square.” How do I know? I had packed it 10 years ago! My panic was mounting. No doubt about it.
He made a half-hearted search in the garage and then mirrored my steps through the house. He was a little slow to clue in to how much this was upsetting me. When I snapped at him, he was truly caught off guard. He didn’t know how much writing meant to me. How much those silly stories meant to me. “You’re acting like you lost your children,”
I tried to compose myself and explain that those stories were so much a part of me. That just like the kids were part of me, my stories were, too. A different part. He doesn’t write. He doesn’t get it. But he did understand that I wouldn’t rest until I located that box. We did find the box. It was more rectangular than square and taller than I remembered. Now the stories sit in binders on the shelf above my desk where I can keep a close eye on them.
WRITERS write because they can’t stop the words. There are stories all around them. They are inspired by a snatch of overheard dialogue between strangers. They see entire stories in the way two people interact in a public place. Characters and/or plots will pop into their heads from absolutely nowhere! They have scraps of paper with one or two words that sparked some idea. And the more they write, the more inspired they become. They write and then go back and re-write or delete or move around everything they’ve written. They stare at a screen or piece of paper playing with those words to make them fit right. And if they are like me, they are always mentally editing everything they see- looking for grammar or spelling errors….
Because if they don’t write, the words pile up and start crushing at each other in their need to be heard. They love the feel of creating a really good sentence. They feel a connection to words- the rhythm, flow, patterns, context. It’s deep in their souls- an intimate part of them that they are putting down on paper (or a screen).
Writers write because they don’t know how not to write. It’s who they are. It’s what they are. Writers write.
This post was inspired by ‘Rissa, who has been working on a very important piece and I suspect knows what I’m talking about. 🙂