Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why I Write

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t ask myself this question. I spend (literally) most of my spare time doing something writing related. My family gets ignored way too often. My body’s flabbier than it was three years ago. I awake most days around 4:30 and average (maybe) five hours of sleep a night. And my self-confidence level has had more vertical drops on the emotional rollercoaster than it did during my teenage years.

So, why? Why do I keep writing?

1) Writing, for me, is like exercise. At times I’m ready to jump in and overexert myself so that I can’t possibly do anything for the next three days. Other times, I’m mucho averse to getting started. I productively procrastinate—do EVERYTHING else on my to-do list before I sit in the chair, turn on the netbook, and peck away. But once I do start typing, I begin to find my groove. I get into a rhythm. And it feels so, so good. The roads aren’t always smooth. I hit a few bumps along the way. But I endure. And, several hours later, I close out my document with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and pride. Like, OMG, I WROTE THAT. Wow.

2) When I write, I get immersed in the “zone.” I know exactly (okay—maybe not EXACTLY) why my boys love their football, why they miss it so much when they leave high school. There’s a lot of pre-work for their glory. There’s a lot of researching and outlining for mine. But when they take the field, they are completely THERE. Totally, completely focused. In. The. Zone.

The zone is the most glorious place to be. I’m in a different world of my own creation, with people (my imaginary friends) I LOVE to be with. We trudge through the muck together, experience each other’s pain, and celebrate our victories.

And when it’s time to power down, I can’t wait to boot up for more.

PS—I very much love my own reality, but I love to go to my “happy place” too.

3) Finally, because I love it. Despite the vulnerability, the rejection. The permanent prescription to Prozac (just kidding). I love to write. I can’t exactly explain why I love to write. It’d be like me trying to figure out why someone LIKES to sew. Or why someone would teach middle school. Those things are not for me. And I’m sure those people who do those things could tick off a long list of reasons why they do them. It wouldn’t sell me on it. EVER. But I can understand love.

PS—one of my super-duper writer friends posted this amazeballs blog the other day on how writing makes you like an insane bird. (If you or your loved one is a writer, you should totally check it out here. Trust me.)

Anyhoo, she compared writing to a robin’s inane choice to thrust itself into her sliding glass door every morning. It’s totally me. In fact, I’ve adopted Robin as my new nickname. Now all I need is a trusty Batman and together we’ll conquer the writing world.

So—I write because I love to write. Or I’m completely nutso. Like this guy

What do YOU love to do?


  1. Yep. Awesome post! You pretty much summarized exactly why I write too. IMO, there is nothing better than being in the zone, where you can almost sit back and let the words pour out. Such a great feeling.

  2. Love, "the zone" too...wish I had more time to be there.

  3. LOL - Batman and Robin. I think it's the Zone too - it's like a drug and it's addictive.

  4. Ha! I regularly feel like that toad! :P

    Sometimes I think the only person who can truly understand a writer is another writer. The madness of writing, the swings, the passion, the absolute-must-write-now feeling, and yet also the procrastination. But it all boils down to the feeling of getting in the zone, doesn't it? That feeling of being swept away by your own creating. It's exhilirating.

  5. Love this post! The zone is a wonderful place to be, and that's part of why write--to create an entire universe inspired by pure imagination. The sense of accomplishment at completing goals along the way, seeing the twists and turns that evolve in the process, and looking forward to what the finished story will be also keeps me going.

  6. I love being in the zone too :D

  7. Great post! Thank goodness we've all got each other. Love the toad!

  8. We writers understand the "why" of the love to write, and spend a lot of time explaining to those who don't.

  9. Haha--thanks for the linkage love!

    Does this make me Batman? Prolly not. Heh.

    Yes--always good to know we're not alone in our insanity!


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