Why I Write

The awesome Chuck Wendig recently asked his blog readers why we write.

We writers have many different answers to this question. Writing relieves stress. They feel compelled to write. If they don’t write, they’ll go crazy. They enjoy telling stories. They are good at it.

All of these are good reasons, and all are true.

But none of them are the main reason why I write.

2015 has not been a good year. It’s been filled with major family medical issues; various home repairs and accidents, some more costly than others; work-related stress, both for me and my husband; an aunt slowly losing her mind due to Alzheimer’s Disease; infertility and all the angst and self-esteem issues that go along with it; all coupled with the regular stress of daily life. This year has reminded me that even though I lead a very charmed life–and I know that I do–shit still happens. And you need to take the good with the bad.

And that is why I write.

That’s not to say everything this year has been bad. I adopted a new dog. I went to Star Wars Celebration. (Everything Star Wars has been a highlight, really.) I get to go to Disney World whenever I want. I still have my husband. But overall, this has been the worst year in a long time.

And that is why I write.

Writing is the one thing I can control. Writing is the one thing that makes me feel productive, no matter whether I write 5,000 words in a day or 100. Whether I edit ten chapters or two. Whether I brainstorm a new idea or put the finishing touches on a manuscript.

I create something. It makes me feel alive.

And that is why I write.

Some people say you have to go where the story takes you, but that isn’t true. You are the writer. You create the characters, and therefore you create the story. It can go wherever you want it to. Be set in any time or place. Have all sorts of diverse characters or all straight white dudes. It’s all up to you, the author.

And that is why I write.

Because no matter how shitty things get, no matter how helpless I might feel, I can always open up a notebook, or a computer file, or stare into space, or scrawl on the wall with blood (okay, I don’t actually do that), and create an entire new world. Shitty things may happen there (and they will, because that is the nature of storytelling), but I always know that everything will be okay (because–spoiler alert–that is how things always end in my stories). And if I ever decide I don’t want things to end up okay, that’s my decision as well. I have control.

And that is why I write.

Does this make me narcissistic? A megalomaniac? Unable to deal with the real world? Maybe. But it also makes me a realist. When I don’t write, I don’t feel good about myself. I get stressed easier. I’m not as happy.

So I write.

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