Not a story, I know, but this week’s terribleminds challenge caught my attention. The subject? Why I write. It’s a great question. It ties in with Gen Con, which has its own writer’s symposium (which I am totally at! Right now! Well, right now I’m in my hotel, but you get the idea).
I have to say, at first, this question filled me with all manner of existential dread. As if the real question were “who the f*k said you could write?” So, I played whack-a-mole with that thought process until I beat it back down to whatever subconscious anxiety pit it oozed out of.
My answer didn’t come easily. I toyed with the concept that I can’t not write, and that I have stories to tell. Both are true. I’ll keep writing as long as I’m able, and probably some time after that. I can be pretty crafty. And there are always new spaceships and dragons and robots and misunderstood monsters to write about.
But that felt like surface stuff.
So, I peeled back each layer of why until I reached what I think is the meaty center. Why do I write? Why do I really, really write? I like affecting people. If you see me in the real world, I will probably try to make you laugh. It’s like that, but with more ink. Writing is like a concentrated feelings machine. When I can make you laugh or cry or get mad at a completely fake character as if they were real, that’s amazing. That’s what stories do, and it’s the best.