Monday, December 15, 2008

November 12, 2008 "Why I Write"

I write to get rid of the awful feeling of not wanting to write.

Sometimes this reluctance feels like a real illness—am I coming down with something? And it always feels like fatigue—I'm too tired to do anything! So I wander around the house thinking, maybe I should go back to bed, or take an aspirin, or eat something...yes, I should definitely eat something! Eventually my Higher Self kicks in with the diagnosis: you really don't want to write, do you?

After that, the clouds part, the coast is clear. I know the medicine I need. I'd better get to writing.

I try not to think too much about what I'm doing, especially not about the first sentence. I just plunge ahead, sort of like diving into a cold lake. After a few minutes of thrashing around and getting water in my nose, I start feeling warmer, more comfortable. On lucky days I can swim for quite a while, and lose track of time.

And then, when it's over, the endorphins kick in. I have written! The day has been salvaged. I have proven myself a worthy person. The flu symptoms are gone, and I can face whatever comes with a certain degree of equanimity because, after all, I have done it. I have written.

Why do you write?

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