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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Why a Writer Writes; Why a Writer Doesn't Write




If you want to be a writer, just write.


For a lot of reasons, for no reason, this writer hasn't posted to BookOrBust in quite some time.

Some days I write, some days I don't write.

For a lot of writers, writing can be a challenge.

Today I share some or none of the reasons why a writer writes and why a writer doesn't write.

A writer writes because she must. Tie a writer's hands behind her back, bind her body to a stake, shove a rag in her mouth to keep her from clenching a pen between her teeth to write words in the sky, it won't matter, because like trying to stop a speeding locomotive careening down Mt. Everest, a writer will somehow manage to wiggle the shoe off one foot and scribble words in the sand with her big toe.

A writer doesn't write because someone may have criticized her work. Perhaps a negative word about her latest magazine article, blog post, or manuscript has skinned her pride; Worse, maybe a celebrity author, writing coach, someone she held in high esteem, humiliated her at a writer's workshop.

A writer writes because something terrible, horrible, thrilling, exhilarating, happy, sad, exciting, miserable, ugly, beautiful, mundane or meaningful has happened in her life. This experience has left an indelible mark on her soul, and now she wishes to share it, hopefullly to inspire and motivate another writer, or reader, to write their personal saga.

A writer doesn't write because she is afraid if she is true to her story and tells it like it really is (or was), her words may injure someone's feelings. Perhaps she used (oh, horrors!) a four-letter word in  her work. A writer never wants to hurt a reader's feelings. She hates that.

A writer writes in order to free her mind of clutter. You know, that goop that chokes the wheels of the creative process. A writer knows that in order to get her words down on paper she must give herself permission to write the worst crap in the Universe each time she puts pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, to get to the good stuff.

A writer doesn't write because she fears her writing is the worst crap in the Universe.

A writer writes because she believes she has a god-given talent. It isn't about ego, or seeing her name in print. It is more about gratitude and sincere desire to share.

A writer doesn't write because she fears success, or failure. She worries what if her reader reads what pours out of her pen and thinks that she is a fake, fraud, or phoney-bologney? Or worse, what if the reader thinks that she is an authority. A writer worries, How will I handle that?

A writer writes to share her daily life. A writer likes to snap photographs of places visited, interviews with famous authors, and reviews of books that she's read. She knows that she must attend writing workshops and writing seminars in order to hone her skills, so she writes about that. All of it to chronicle her writing journey and perhaps assist another writer in their writing journey. So, she writes about all of that.

A writer doesn't write because maybe a writer has acquired a stalker. A writer can see a visitors' e-footprints on her website, blog, facebook pages, and all of social media. A writer worries if she writes about a favorite hangout that someone will stalk her. More than once this may have happened--Always when she least expected it--sitting in a movie theater, on a date, dining with friends in a restaurant, or with grandchild in tow. A writer is uncomfortable with that.

A writer writes because she has discovered her niche, found her voice, and her tribe. A writer loves that.

A writer doesn't write because she has not discovered her niche, cannot locate her voice and feels no tribe will have her.

A writer writes because she gets a natural high each time she fingerhugs her fast-writing pen to scribble sloppily in her spiralbound notebook. A writer likes creating strong verbs, perfectly punctuated sentences, and tight-knit paragraphs.

A writer doesn't write because she fears the risk of a lawsuit.

A writer writes under all circumstances--Nevermind she found new love, acquired a new puppy, became a new mother/grandmother; or worse, got dumped by her new love, her dad died, and she buried her new baby/grandbaby.

A writer doesn't write because a publisher rejected her. A writer hates that. Every writer knows that rejection letters are part of the writing process, but ouch. It hurts.

A writer writes because she made a deathbed promise. And she is determined to keep that promise.

A writer doesn't write because she thinks it is a waste of time and money. Writing workshops, writing seminars, writing coaches, and writing supplies cost money. A writer worries how can she justify her writing passion when she must meet a mortgage payment, and car payment. She worries can she afford to take grandson and granddaughter to Wendy's or McDonald's if she attends the next workshop, writes the next book, or purchases a new laptop.

A writer writes because she remembers her favorite book, "The Wizard of Oz," by Frank L. Baum, each time she falters. She recalls that golden story, how it unfolds, and the believable characters in it. She's memorized the analogies and moral message and believes sincerely deep in her soul that book was written especially for her. She writes because despite the Wicked Witch of the West and her sea of flying monkeys swarming her life's horizon, she remembers to just keep the pen moving, realizing all the while the wise Wizard's desperate words proclaiming to homeless Dorothy, heartless Tin Man, brainless Straw Man, and courage-less Lion to "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

I know the challenge to write everyday. I own that ache in the back and burn in the eye from sitting for long periods of time staring into a computer screen, and the bags under eyes from sleepless nights writing, rewriting, editing, and re-editing, but no matter, I am a writer. I write.

Here's to putting pen to paper, er, fingers to keyboard, one more time.

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna




Writing Tip: Writing is a craft. Hone it. Take a writing workshop.

Writing Quote: The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.--William Shakespeare