It’s difficult sometimes, to articulate why I (or anyone, for that matter) would want to write books.
It’s not for money, nor for fame (though both would be nice).
Robert Graves said: “There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either.”
It could be because I love the act of writing itself.
Indeed, the enjoyment of the process: the sitting down, the blank pages, the roaring fear, the quiet excitement; it is part of it, but it’s not the whole story.
Maybe it’s because books outlive their authors and that writing for some, lets us live on beyond the grave.
In the back of every writer’s mind lingers the intoxicating possibility of immortality, and while I claim to be no different, that’s still not it.
I write, because on some deep, cellular level I’m thirsting for the tangible.
I write because once I do, I have written.
Without writing, all those thoughts, and half-remembered dreams and scribbles on old restaurant receipts would amount to nothing.
I write because otherwise, the man on the metro carrying a pump-pack of handsoap in his back pocket is just a man on the metro carrying a pump-pack of handsoap in his back pocket, and not the perfect image of a serial killer for my next book.
I write because the mechanical task of typing is gloriously organising, and because my word processor is the best frame of reference I know.
I write because life makes more sense and holds more beauty when I do.
American political satirist P.J O’Rourke said: “I write because I like to make things, and the only things I am good at making things with are words.”
And I couldn’t agree more.
Image Credit: delgrosso on Flickr.