As I was searching through blog world today, looking at the sites of various writers and attempting-to-get-published hopefuls, I found myself wondering: what is it that makes all of us so obsessed with writing. I mean, there's no way getting around it--it's an obsession. Who else but a true writer would craze about query letters the way that we do? What logical, nonwriting person would spend an hour or more on one simple f*cking sentence, because it's not worded right? And then when you change it, it doesn't flow. And then when you reword the paragraph to make it flow...well then you've changed what you were originally trying to say, and there was a reason that you were originally trying to say it, so now you've got to change it all over again. I know, it might be shocking to hear this, but nonwriters don't really care if they're working on a project and don't meet their word quota for the day. They'll get around to it sometime...eventually. Because their lives, don't revolve around it like ours do.
Now, I have been writing stories (good or otherwise) since I was in second grade and made a picture book for my teacher. I've been writing since I got my first not-for-school composition notebook and was able to put in it whatever I wanted. Rants. Poems. Stories. Even the beginnings of books, eventually. It never occurred to me as a little second grader the OCD that laid ahead of me, if I continued my path as a writer. It didn't occur to me that if I wanted to get published, then I would probably have to get an agent, which would mean that I'd have to make myself marketable, which would mean that there had to be something special about me, a niche, that I would have to find, and how hard that that would turn out to be. Even now, when I write, I do it in hopes of getting published one day, sure, but I also do it because I love it. Because I can't imagine my life without it. Because the written word is one of the most wonderful things that this world has to offer....
But why? Why obsess? Why spend hours on pieces of writing that people may never get to see? I think it's because, as writers, we see the world differently. We see what others don't. In people. In the environment In the possibilities that life offers.
But how do we explain this? There's no set way in our culture to talk about it. People don't understand what we do, and perhaps we don't even understand what it is that we do understand. So we put it into words. We work it out in our subconscious by working it out through stories, through characters, through consequences and actions and tears and laughter and beauty that people can read and be touched by and then hopefully understand what it is that we saw in the first place.
Maybe there's just something-inherently or from experience-within us, that has left us incapable of silence. We need to be heard. And this is how. And at least, if no one else will see it or read it, the things that we write, we will know that they exist. We can read them. We can share them with our friends, collegues, and fellow writers, and we can always know the stories that others cannot see.