About Why We Write
One never wants to be behind the times. Society says so, anyhow. It’s all about the cutting edge, the forefront, the next frontier. I say that’s all well and good, but there are some things that we should cling to.
It’s why I write. These weird little symbols can make a person feel things they’ve never felt, if they’re arranged just so. To me there is something mystical and otherworldly about it.
It’s also about the infinite. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept that numbers never end, but really, the same applies to language. If you can’t find a new way to say something, someone else will. It’s pretty cool, but it’s something even I forget, and I’m a damn writer. (Not necessarily a good one)
Then there’s the fact that I’ll never be good enough. Love that. There’s no form that can be filled out or box that can be checked; it can always be better. The greatest writers in history penned a few clunkers here and there—it’s the nature of the business. Same as life. But when you go back and take a look at something you published, wincing at a missed opportunity, a failed characterization, it’s glaring and obvious. It hurts so good. (Sorry John Cougar) I hope to be failing all the way up to the day I die. Creation has no retirement party. I got a message from a writer the other day who got his first publishing deal at 65; that’s what I’m talking about!
So that’s why I give it a go. Let’s be fair, writers aren’t saving lives, but they can help make sense out of life, and that can be pretty freaking important.
Post script: The universe is approximately 14 billion years old. The Earth is like 4 or 5 billion. Our little species has been wandering around for a hundred thousand years, give or take. We’ve been reading and writing for maybe five or six thousand. Up until the modern era, most of society couldn’t read a lick or sign their own name. In some places, that’s still a battle.
In closing, I’d say there’s still some work left to do. Cheers. Happy weekend. See you after.