Friday, June 20, 2014

The Act of Writing

A new day dawns and I sit at the computer, staring at a blank screen, ready to produce a stream of words, and I ask myself: Why?

"WHY?" is the question that faces me every morning.  Why am I consuming hours of a beautiful spring day pounding out words when there are so many other wonderful things in this world? What impulse is driving me to write instead of doing practically anything else? Is it some uncontrollable mental affliction, an obsession, or manic craving? Am I insane to be doing this?

That I can write, have written, have even sold a few stories over the years is not in question. I can produce prose (I leave it to the reader to judge the literary worth of such) that sells, so it isn't the lack of ability, skill, or grasp of the mechanics that makes me question what I am doing.

I am, have been, writing a novel for no other reason than to see if I could do so.  I have no pretensions that the current piece will ever be published or even read, save by some slush reader.  But that dire view does not deter me from daily adding to the preponderance of words as I drag the characters toward an as-yet unrealized epiphany.  I know I am not writing great art nor even a skillful retelling of a classic story: It's just a long adventure set in a world of my imagination.

So I ask myself why I continue producing a thousand words, day after day? Why not crank out a few salable short stories instead?  What is it about the ACT of writing that keeps me pounding on the keyboard to produce wordy footprints of my passage?  Is seeing the words magically appear before me or is seeing the scenes in my head become words on the page that is so enjoyable?  Is it the simple joy that comes from creativity?  Perhaps therein lies the answer I seek;  the realization that it is the process of writing and not the end result that is important.

Perhaps the act of writing is its own reward.


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