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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