Why I Write

So for fun, I thought I would finally do one of Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenges. I wrote about half of it and then life butted in and I zoomed right past the one week challenge deadline (while simultaneously falling pathetically short of the required word count.)

But I wanted to polish up and post here what I did manage to spit out, because I actually wrote one of these in high school as part of an independent study (w/ the cheeky title “Chick Lit”, run by a truly great English teacher and attended by myself and two of my fellow writer-friends), and I still remember how much I enjoyed writing it. I wish I could track it down and see what’s changed in my answers. Unfortunately, I suspect the poor thing fried a long time ago with my mom’s old Gateway computer. (Why the cow motif Gateway? What about a bovine implied high-tech future-machine?)

Why I Write:

I write because if I don’t, the stories will keep me up at night.

I write because sometimes I can’t help it. I see words on the inside of my eyelids and when I open them I’m already at a keyboard, throwing them down like fire-crackers.

I write because it keeps me sane.

And also because it keeps me from becoming too sane.

I write because as a kid, my life was dictated by monsters, curled up under my bed ready to snap jaws closed like a bear-trap, prowling the roiling landscape of my constant nightmares, and now it is my turn to dictate them. I pin them down on a page and put them in my monster zoo for other people to look at.

I write because I want to.

I write because I love to write.

I write because if I wasn’t writing, I honestly couldn’t say what else I would be doing. Rewatching The West Wing an unhealthy number of times, probably.

I write because when I don’t write, I get very cranky. So really I’m writing for the benefit of the people who must suffer my presence day in and day out. You’re welcome.

I write to make sense of the world.

I write because the world makes no sense, and I need that fractured landscape of revisable qualities to straighten out my crooked vision.

I write because I love stories, and because I think stories are important.

I write because I want there to be more, infinitely more, stories with women who do not slide out from between the pages like pressed flower pedals: fragile, fragrant-less, and already dead.

I write because the genre needs some fucking revision.

I write because, whatever the popular adage says, there are countless untold stories in the world. The people who say otherwise are confusing “story” with “trope” in my opinion. And when they say, “Every story has already been told”, what they mean is that more than one white western man has starred in more than one retelling of a Shakespeare play.

I write because most stories have never been told at all. But they should be.

I write because I can’t find a good enough excuse to do anything else.

I write because I’m a writer. Full stop. End transmission.

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