Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why I Write - Blogfest

This blog is part of a blogfest at Kayleen's Creation Corner
Please go visit some of the other posts!
Hello! My name is Debbie Beverly, and this is my first attempt at explaining why I write. Okay, it's not my first time, but I'm nervous anyway, and excited at the same time.  Wheee!  [fanning self]

So, I'm just going to start writing about why I write, and hope you like it!

Okay. Let's see. I am... nervous, did I say I was nervous?  Okay.

I.  Love. 


I love every kind of writing.

I love writing on the computer, and writing with colored ink rollerball pens in journals, and writing on steno pads with the pens they give you at the hair salon which are really cheap and don't half work but they're free, so what the hell - and I love writing on big yellow legal pads with itty bitty golf scorekeeping pencils that barely have a point.

[tearing up]

I'm sorry. I just...I just really love writing.

[wiping eyes]

And...and I just want to write everything, because I love writing so much!  I want to write novels and screenplays and essays and dictionaries and blogs and leave comments on every single blog there is, because I love writing but I can't 'cuz that's crazy I can't write on every blog. BUT I WANT TO. You know? I WANT TO WRITE ON EVERY BLOG.

If you think I sound ditzier than usual, you are one of the four people on the interwebs who hasn't seen Debbie yet.  Check her out at CakeWrecks.  [Go ahead.  I'll wait.]

Now back to our regularly scheduled Voice.

Photo via Maggie Smith at Flickr
Actually, those sentiments aren't far from my own.  I do love writing, and books.  I love old hardcover books with their slightly musty smell, and thick mass market paperbacks, and brand new Kindle downloads, and...  Oops. Channeling "Debbie" again, and a little Debbie goes a long way.

I've always been a geeky reader, and began writing as a teenager.  Somehow, either nobody told me, or, more likely, I was Not Paying Attention, because it never percolated into my brainpan that writing was about REwriting.  So, up till my late twenties, I would write and then throw it all away because I would reread it and think it was crap.  (Of course, it was crap, but some of it might have been passably readable, 17 rewrites later.)

In all seriousness, I write because I'd like to change the world for the better.  Which sounds grandiose and pompous and like I'm more than a little full of myself, but still.  I believe that writing and reading open doors to empathy and imagination.  Doesn't matter if the writing is in the form of a novel, poem, television script, or blog, it does change the world.  Writing helps people imagine themselves in the skin of someone else - whether that person is Anne of Green Gables or Malcolm X or ET.  Maybe not all the way into that skin - but partway.  To see that the "other" isn't so other after all.

Sometimes writing simply helps people escape their problems and worries for a little while - and isn't that worth something?

I believe, and have been told by a few others (so I'm not totally delusional) that I have a distinct writing Voice.  Certainly not the biggest, strongest, clearest Voice on the planet (just ask V.S. No-something or other), but I have one, and I'm working hard to make it better.  Can I tell any story that hasn't been told a thousand times before?  Of course not, but nobody can tell a story the way I can, with my Voice.  And perhaps someone may hear my Voice, who didn't hear those thousand others, and be changed.  For Good.

Doesn't that line just make you want to break into song?

I guess that was just me. Oh well.

Maybe my writing can make somebody giggle while reading a blog post on their lunch break.  Maybe it can make someone cry when reading a chapter in my novel (Though usually, the person weeping is me, in utter frustration.)  Maybe my writing can inspire someone to think more deeply about racism, or slut-shaming, or mental illness.  All these things have value.  While I would certainly like to have my writing become my day job 4realz, if it never does, I am okay with that.

Just don't ask me to shut up.  (You can ask, but I won't.)  Haters gonna hate, writers gonna write.

If you missed getting in on Kayleen's Blogfest, leave a few breadcrumbs here.
Why do you write?