Is That Why We Do It?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

As a writer, I am constantly filling up pages and pages and files and files and scraps and scraps of notes, poems, memories, paragraphs and stories. I guess I don't think about it too much at the time, because I always feel that there is something propelling me forward into the next sentence or the next line [and when I don't - a.k.a. writer's block - then I try to drudge myself out and push on into another creative form] but I just wonder, why?
Why do we always feel this need to keep filling the pages? What really is the motivation to take notes about the guy with the crumpled hat sitting next to us with a huge gash on his left arm, laughing happily as he gets off at the next bus stop? I may never know.
But, I guess, my theory so far is that it's our way of interpreting the world. Numerous times I have told myself that without writing I would probably explode, or implode, or something catastrophic like that. Even when everything seems quite ludicrous, I take up pen and paper and develop some sort of scenario far better than myself. In the end, my only purpose is to write.
When I was younger - working diligently on a novel or trying to learn my craft without the fear of rejection - I was much more eager to show the world. I guess that kind of changed when I discovered a. that what I was writing wasn't very good, b. that there are a lot of things I wouldn't share with anyone, and c. that sometimes it's just fine to leave the words on the page. I've recently picked up my favorite writing mentor's (Monica Wood) new sequel to The Pocket Muse and it has really helped me out of a few jams. Just thinking that I am pretty young and all these experiences are part of my life as a writer: they don't have to be public property yet.
I was just thinking about it today, for no reason, but I guess the reason I write is to timidly set down my inhibitions. In a lot of ways, it helped me grow up and grow out, and I guess that the only gift I can give back is to keep putting words down.
I was actually wondering if I could finish every story fragment I had ever written and, well, I realized it was quite impossible.
So, I guess my goal this year [and hopefully every year] is... to actually finish something. Anything. Anything at all that seems to feel right then, right now. It's time to stop worrying about the future.