I’ve been asked the question several different ways, by a host of different people, but I’ve answered it nearly the same way every single time.
Why do you write?
That’s it, plain and simple. I’ve always written, or at least my conscious mind accepts this without pushback from my subconscious. It’s what I’ve always done, since I was a kid and re-wrote the lyrics to “Amazing Grace.” (Don’t ask. I’m not going to tell you what sacrilege I got up to back then.) I wouldn’t know who I was without a pen in my hand–or the modern day equivalent.
Yes, there have been periods of time when I didn’t write, when I was tuned into other things, other causes, other situations that captured my attention, but I always had words in my head. They just never got written down right then. Sometimes they got written down later, but in other forms because delay changes how it comes out, you know. Other times they just disappeared, never to be heard from.
I resolve to never let that happen again. I’m older, I’m wiser, and I feel like I’m more balanced when it comes to taking time out to write, even when it feels like I’m overwhelmed with other things.
That’s one reason why I write, by the way, because it is a part of me, like my physical attributes but so much more. Writing is my soul, down on paper, onto a screen, black on white, like dice, but I don’t feel lucky. I feel blessed that I can write, and that’s totally different from lucky. There’s skill involved in blessed that just doesn’t factor in with lucky.
Another I write is because it scratches an itch that I’ve always felt. Even when I was vandalizing Christian hymns, there was something that just needed to get out. Writing is the closest thing to being a god that I can see, having so much at my disposal, being in charge of what gets said, what gets left out, and how things turn out for my characters. There’s just nothing quite like it.
I write because I’m a writer. Plain and simple.