Why I Write

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Today’s post is in response to Chuck Wendig’s challenge on Friday: terribleminds | Flash (Non)Fiction Friday

“Why I Write”

I don’t know. The process of writing, creating and being taken on journeys that I wasn’t prepared for is always an experience. I’m also terrified of it. The way my arms lock up and my stomach tightens when I realize that there are words appearing but I have no idea what I’m doing and why, why, why am I bothering with this? This place I’ve created, these characters… what have they done to deserve me as their god? I get frustrated. Angry. I tell myself it’s stupid and pointless and why am I not working on the things I’m able to do that don’t cause my mind and body to experience electric shock like symptoms? I love it and I absolutely hate it. And I Can. Not. Stop. I keep coming back to it.
I still remember coming home from high school with a report card of mostly B’s. My mother chastised me and in desperation I said:
“But I did get an A.”
“In what?” she asked, looking over the paper again.
“Creative writing.” I told her.
She practically snorted. “So? Nobody cares about writing.”
This would be a great place for a story about where I buckled down and wrote my heart out and over the next couple of years and proved my mom wrong with some sort of writing related success – maybe in the form of a college scholarship. In reality though, my writing just got darker.
Admittedly I also lost some confidence. I grew a much more picky inner editor. (This essay would be easier if it were “Why did I write?”) But that conversation with my mother was about eighteen years ago and I still find it difficult to write / to want to write / to break through that mental barrier.
This reactive barrier has taken root in my mind and when I sit down to write there is definitely a psychological process going on that makes me both physically and mentally uncomfortable. I’m not sure how to clear it away. I think it will take time. I don’t think it will be entirely pleasant. My mom passed away about five years ago and I think that will make things more difficult. It’s something I want to remove for my own well being. But it’s still a bit of her. I don’t know how looney that sounds to people who grew up in healthy homes, but there you go.
Why do I write? Because I have to. I’ve always had to. That’s why I keep trying. Here’s to that continued effort.

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In The Interest of Social Creatures

This is Chloe, absconding with a cracker...
This is Chloe, absconding with a cracker…

A blogger that I follow recently posted about finding an injured pigeon and wrapping him up and holding him close until he passed not very long after. It sounded like a lot of the offline reaction was “It’s just a bird.” As you can probably tell from my photo – this doesn’t sit well with me. Not just for birds, but for most animals. But for today, I’ll focus on birds.

The picture is of my Green Cheek Conure (or GCC), Chloe. She’s about two and a half years old now and I adopted her when she was roughly three months. Conures have an average lifespan of 25-35 years. She has the potential to be with me into my 60’s! I knew a fair amount about wild birds before adopting Chloe but sharing your life with a bird is a whole new experience. Birds are very social. They experience emotions – even if not the exact same way we do.  Chloe is happy, angry, irritable, playful, etc. One of her favorite games is to drop something so I can pick it up. I give it back and she drops it again. How fun! :p She has a certain dance she does when excited and a particular reaction to trying new food and really liking them. She prefers to take a bath in very cold water (though I hear that’s not uncommon in Conure’s) She doesn’t just preen herself but she’s also kind enough to go through my hair and preen me, heh. Certainly Chloe is not “Just an…” anything?

There is so much more to Chloe, to other birds, and to other creatures on the planet. Unfortunately I think we have this attitude towards people now too. If we can’t hold each other in equal regard, I’m not sure what hope there is for those creatures some people consider “lesser”.

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Credit to http://www.facebook.com/yoshithebirdnerd