Why Do I Write?
My nine year old niece snuck up on me a couple of Saturday’s ago. It wasn’t hard. I had my headphones on, I was in my zone pounding away on my keyboard. Completely oblivious to my surroundings. When a light tap to my shoulder sent me through the roof and Miss Hannah in a fit of giggles. She’d scared her Auntie Leila.
Peering over my shoulder at my laptop screen, she immediately focused on the fact that her sister’s name was on the screen. Thus started my conversation about why I was writing a novel with a nine year old.
First I had to make sure she understood that the Ella on the page was NOT her sister. After all if her sister was in my story, why wasn’t she. (One day Hannah, one day I’ll have a character named Hannah. Not today.)
Then she was asking me how long my story was, how many pages, how long it took to write, etc. I got a perverse pleasure out of watching her eyes bug out when I told her my word count was in the tens of thousands. She was freaked out and amazed.
Then came the question. Why? Why am I writing a story? Especially one this long?
“Well, I write because I have all these stories in my head that I want to tell. Some are funny, some are serious, but they all want to be told.”
“What happens if you don’t tell them.”
I thought about that one. You see, I went through a period in my life where I didn’t write. I didn’t tell my stories. I was a miserable wretch of a person.
Finally, I looked at her and said, “I would be very unhappy, and my stories would never be told.”
I write because I have so many things to say in the fiction and non-fiction world. More importantly, I value what I have to say so I put it out there regardless of the risk.
That is what makes me a writer.