Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why do writers write?

I have always hesitated to call myself a writer. Even though I majored in print journalism in college I shirk at using such an official title for myself. I have never made a penny off of my pen. I have never been published out side of my college news paper. I can’t even blog on a regular basis.
Not that you have to be famous to be a writer. I know many people who consider themselves writers who have yet to be published but are still adamantly honing their art. They write on a daily basis. No matter how crazy their lives get they still manage to carve out time for their craft. They are violently jealous of their time spent writing. It is a major priority in their lives.
I am not a writer by this standard either. I can go days, weeks, some times even a month with out writing in my journal much less doing any real writing. Often times the only words that make it from my mind to paper are a grocery list, to do list, or meal plans. If I am feeling truly inspired I may attempt an e-mail, thank you note, or facebook update.
No if fame or if dedication is what make you a writer I am no writer.
But then something happens. Something beautiful, something tragic, something monumental, something small, something life changing, or something refuses to change. And I am over come with a compulsion. I am compelled to write. There are days when I am overwhelmed with a need to write. Even if all I write is a grocery list I am driven by a desire to record my life. I may writing may not be much in quality or quantity, but I could no more stop doing it then I could stop breathing, eating, or loving. It is simply who I am. And perhaps that is what make any writer a writer. Not what they write, or how much they write, but why they write. A writer writes simply because they have no choice.