Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why I Write: A List

1. the first and most important reason why I both write and read is the search for that moment of complete transcendence, where nothing else matters, but a certain truth. It is that point in a piece of creative writing in which the reader gets past the words and letters, and forgets that he or she is reading.
2. because I love words. how they look, feel, sound, how they feel when read out loud, how they make me feel, how they react to the words around them. I love when a certain word sticks around, resonating with me as I go about my day.
3. because of the act of writing and how it feels to physically write, depending on the tool. I recently acquired a typewriter, given to me by a neighbor. I love how writing changes with the tool used: whether it is the very physical action of typing on the typewriter, the speed and effortlessness of a laptop (almost like the fingers are directly connected to the brain's current), the graceful, sweeping movement of a pen, or the more rustic, earthy feel of pencil to paper. Different emotions, mood, motions for each tool...Will the writing follow? I hope to try them all and see what develops.
4. because I love the blank page, whether in a fancy journal that will be around for a while or a scrap paper lying around in my purse. (look inside my purse and you will see such papers covered with jumbles of writing written at that "light bulb" moment)
5. because I have a definite need for an arena to explore my crazy, ever-changing emotions-getting my feelings down on paper in order to sort through them into a sort of coherence, and discard those that are irrelevant (probably the majority). I've found that a typewriter can be very helpful in this process. Its very physical, rough kind of motion allows for the tumultuous emotions to surge out of my mind into my hands.
6. because writing transcends all works of art. Nothing is required of it. Memory is the minimal means of recording. Also, a handy hand to be written upon, a scrap receipt and a loose crayon on the carpet, or the digital world and its never-ending means of dissemination. To me, its the most perfect art form because it requires only our thoughts and some necessary practice.
7. because after 41 years of searching, I have found that it is the one thing I have always done, the one thing I feel I am meant to do, and the one thing I am comfortable doing. I still need to find a way to summon up the self-confidence to let my writing go out into the world without regret.
8. because of the body's inevitable demise (this is for you, John!) and how we all wish we could stick around longer. You can leave behind your shoes and a worn out old chair, but in order for someone to truly remember you, who you are deep inside, you need to leave a piece of yourself behind-your thoughts, feelings, aggravations, triumphs, ideals, teachings, or just some ramblings jotted every once in while in a journal. I would love to make a stamp in the world while I am here, but it would be nice if I am remembered too, even if only by my loved ones.
9. because I want to record those moods or moments that are so very fleeting before they pass by and are gone. They seem memorable at the time, yet they are eventually forgotten if enough time goes by.
10. because i enjoy being a writer. It "fits" me. I have always been an observer, a reader of both words and people, someone on the sidelines. In our society, where extroversion and assertiveness are valued above everything, it is nice to know there are still vocations out there for people like us. I heard someone say once that one should only be a writer after trying everything else. Well, believe me, I have tried out many things, but writing seems to be the only thing that really works.
11. because I can write anywhere and the writing will always be with me anywhere I happen to find myself. It isn't that I am a nomad, but it is nice to know I am never tied down by my career.
12. because writing makes me proud. Not in a negative way, but in a "hold my head up with confidence " way. I think it must be because I feel I am doing the right thing for me. Writing is a noble profession with limitless rewards (if you don't mind the rewards not being monetary) and limitless aspirations.
13. because I love knowing that I am now part of the ongoing conversation, like I have finally been invited to that dream party with all the right people, people who I have everything in common with--this group of writers, alive or dead, who have found a way to express themselves through words.
14. because technology has now opened long-closed doors, enabling all of us solitary writers to be heard at last.
15. And, finally, almost as important a reason as my first, because I love people. I love their struggles, their facets, their shared humanity, and I love, and have faith, that no matter what happens, we will all be there for each other.


Laurie Viera Rigler said...

Thank you for all the kind words. Very happy you enjoyed my books. FYI, LOST IN AUSTEN is NOT based on either one of my novels. There is, however, a web series that is inspired by my books, called SEX AND THE AUSTEN GIRL, and all episodes can be seen on my site (where a book giveaway is now going on, by the way).

TheWingchairTraveller said...

Well, thank you for the feedback! Wow, I never realized that Lost in Austen wasn't the same as your book. I guess if I would have read Confessions, I would have! I'll have to check out your website to watch "the real deal". I'll make a correction, thanks. And, thanks for visiting my blog. I feel honored! :)