Why do you write? seems to be the equivalent in the writing world to ‘What’s your name’.
‘What do you write?’ seems to rival ‘Where are you from?”. But I digress, I was first asked this question at about fourteen at the first of my Creative Writing classes. I couldn’t answer it. I felt immensely daft because, for something that I spent so much time thinking about and doing, I couldn’t explain for the life of me why I wrote. I simply didn’t know. But I knew this much, I wrote because well – I had to. It was necessary. I remember Cathy in Wuthering Heights when describing her love for Heathcliffe said, “My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath — a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff — he’s always, always in my mind — not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself — but as my own being — so, don’t talk of our separation again — it is impracticable.”
I’m still teased because when I first read this, I didn’t automatically think of a guy but of my writing. It just made so much sense. There is no visible gift I get from writing. I am not published. I’ve only completed three books in my entire life which were not really the types of books I wanted to write anyway because I figured they were ‘more appropriate’. Most persons saw it, and still see it, as a glorified hobby. But hobby as it might be, it is necessary and it will continue being something that I have to do, even if I never finish The Novel or if anyone outside of my circle of friends read anything I have written.
My ex-boyfriend is quick to point out that writing is my one, true passion despite the other paths I have decided to take in life.
And I must say… I agree.