Recently I was asked why I write. For some reason it annoyed me! This is my slightly ranty response explaining why I write one Wednesday morning at 3 a.m. It starts with a very lazy poem.
Why do I write?
Why do I feed my children?
Why do I blink?
Why do I think?
Why do I dream?
Why do I live?
Why does my heart beat?
Why does one foot fall in front of the other?
Why do I breathe?
Why will I die?
Why do I write?
…but it’s so cliche. I write because I do, because I want to, because I have to — just the same reason that anyone does anything they are passionate about. Passion is a part of us, and after a while, if we are lucky enough to really fit our passion into our world, the passion becomes our daily life and maybe slips into being everything and nothing. Our stress, our reward, our heaven and our hell — and our daily bread: it feeds our heads, our hearts, our banks and our passion.
I don’t like writing about writing. It aggravates me and makes me a cliche … a writer who loves writing. Quel surprise — no different from an accountant who loves accounting, or an architect who loves drafting, but because words are our skill we’re expected to wax lyrical about it.
A bit too negative? Maybe. But the poem and the cliche-hater is me: my ‘wholehearted, all-encompassed, inextricably-connected adoration of writing’ writer, and my ‘Wednesday afternoon, stressed about deadlines, frustrated by the endless monotony of it all’ writer. All writers count themselves exceedingly lucky to be paid to write: who wouldn’t feel lucky to do what they love?
The connection between my life and my writing is impossible to define – it’s in everything I do.
My point is not that I don’t like writing — very, very far from it — but that I don’t feel I should need to examine why I do my job, as most other professions don’t need to. My day-to-day writing work ISN’T wandering aimless as a cloud, it’s churning out webcopy about running, about scaffold towers, about cleaning and about website design — all of them paid for by clients whose voice I am. I switch from teacher in the morning to jobbing builder in an afternoon, and it’s not easy, and, in honesty, it’s not a lot of fun much of the time. I do it because they can’t.
I hope you can see a little better where I’m coming from. Never think I don’t love writing. I do, and I’m bound to it till death do us part.