Thursday, December 29, 2005

Why Do You Write, Sean?

I write because:

... I like writing.

... I wish to establish the fundamental truths I explore within my mind.

... I wish to delude myself with lies, vanity and all that seethes within my heart.

... I look to describe the condition of humanity in some way. What does it mean to be human? What makes one human? Why are we inherently good / evil / moral / immoral / amoral / fat / thin / tall / short / quiet / talkative / graceful / clumsy / stoic / outspoken / indifferent? And why, for that matter, do we like chocolate?

... I need to get the whispers out of my head before they drive me insane.

... I own a thousand monkeys and a thousand typewriters, and one of these days, I'll finally be able to see if one of them has managed to turn out the works of Shakespeare.

... I need to somehow organize my thoughts in one place.

... The aliens made me do it.

... I want to see how fast I can type using a standard keyboard arrangement. (I'll give the Dvorak a try soon.)

... I like placing certain character types in certain situations and seeing how they work their way through it, much like white rats in a complex maze.

... I'm a hopeless neurotic and desperately crave for peoples' attention.

... I'm a true independent who needs no man's approval.

... It allows me to speak without exposing people to some of my obvious aspects: the crooked teeth, the donkey-like braying, and the Devil's halitosis.

... It allows me to dialogue with readers, and that's especially important. Only readers can give a truly objective opinion of one's own writings. The resulting critique may be good, bad, or just plain indifferent, but it's valuable nonetheless.

... It allows me to dialogue with writers, and that's especially important. Only writers know what the struggle is like, and are familiar with varying approaches to their duties. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't, but half the fun's in trying them out.

... It allows me to dialogue with myself, and that's especially important. You figure out why.

... I can't do anything else. It's been a while since they've chained me to the laptop, much less let me out of the house.

... I've had a bomb strapped to me since November, and it's threatening to go off if I ever stop writing for more than a week. I'm just sitting here, desperately waiting for Keanu Reeves to come by and get on the bus. (If Mr. Neo isn't available, then I suppose Sandra Bullock would do.)

... I can put up a bunch of pop-culture references and then gleefully see if people get them.

... I can act as a force of justice, reason, advocacy, or argument. One voice may not be much, but it's a big deal if it happens to be yours.

... I want to catch myself overusing certain expressions or figures of speech, and consequently cut down on my use of them.

... It allows me to lay traps for my most distant thoughts. The empty slate is more than sufficient bait, and soon the net swings wildly with captured emotion. I then calm them down, gently release them from their temporary imprisonment, and scatter them across the stars.

... It's better than running around smoking, or drinking, or doing drugs, or downloading porn, or hanging around with loose women, or hanging around with loose men, or generally digging a hole in the backyard and sticking my head inside.

... It's really gratifying, seeing all your words on paper. (Virtual paper, yes, but still...)

... Hey, why not?

... My third-grade English teacher thought that I would never amount to anything.

... I want to find some middle ground between all the genres in existence, and if I keep writing, then I might accidentally hit upon it someday.

... 42.

... It ain't much fun when you realize one of the secrets of the universe and have nobody else to tell it to.

... I'm serious, man. The aliens made me do it.


Anonymous said...

if i ever get to teach a writing class and i ask my students on the first day of classes to give me the reasons why they would wanna take the class, i wonder how many of their responses will be like yours.

Sean said...

Anonymous: You'll teach that writing class yet, I think. :)

Once, when I was in high school, I attended a special one-time writing class held by a popular media personality of the era. When the two-hour session started, he asked each and every person in the room this question, and when he came to me, I was stupid enough to answer with my very first response here: "Because I like writing."

He then proceeded to ignore me for the rest of the session. I never found out if he saw something undesirable in my answer, or if he was just too busy to pay attention to the foibles of a single young man. I just know that I've been trying to answer the question ever since. :)