I was thinking the other day that I have come into contact with some great people in the writing blogosphere within the past few months and I’ve been graced with their comments and visits here. It got me thinking that I believe I have engrossed myself pretty deep into the writing universe and I think I keep up fairly well given that I have a full-time job I go to every day. I wonder though: What am I? Am I a writer? What exactly is a writer? Even more importantly, why do I write?
These questions are all pretty powerful and I think that most people can’t answer them too easily or without a story of an encounter with a book or a great class they took at a school somewhere. I don’t have much of an answer either. I’ve written a novel. Does that make me a writer or just someone who’s written a book? Is there a ‘requirement’ to getting a certain status? Perhaps I need to be published or work a full-time job in the writing industry in order to earn that label.
I think of why I write and I don’t have a clear answer. I remember as a kid I read a whole bunch and was really interested in reading. I guess this is how every writer starts out. Unfortunately that is where it stopped for me. Required books for grade-school classes turned me off because I hated the stories so much. I pretty much stopped reading books at the 4th grade. For whatever reason, I began writing and finding a muse around the time of high school and I thought it was interesting that I was someone who showed some writing ability but didn’t read. Many people I told this to were baffled as well.
You would think that most people who write are bookworms and I didn’t fit that mold as well. Growing up I was into sci-fi, hockey and music. Computers fit in there as well and I did spend many days knee-deep in MS Word getting stories down on ‘paper’. All through high school and most of college, I read only required books, and even then I skimmed them or hit up Yahoo (there was no Google yet) for summaries.
Looking back now, I think that I think I write because I have something to say. I have ideas that seem like they would interest others. They get me excited and I want to share that. I’m sure my lack of reading history does affect my writing skill. I don’t know many tecniques and I don’t know different plot devices, but I do believe that a good story is a good story.
Why do you write? What makes you spend huge amounts of time in front of a computer or notebook and get words down on the page? I’d love to know.