Your Craft: Why Do You Write?
My First Thoughts
When I write, I research. For me, the facts,,, sometimes, even the smallest detail… are important! (I hate to discover a fallacy in a novel. The storyline suddenly stops and all I can think about for the next half-hour -or longer- is… Don’t they know how to Google?)
Often my personal writing leads me to questions about life, and the things in life, that I had never ever thought about asking …nor did I even think that I needed to know. Suddenly, there is a flurry of inept fingers and misspellings on the keyboard because there is a fact that is so overwhelmingly relevant in my life I cannot wait to discover the answer.
As I Continued to Process Why I Write
There are far more nuances than conclusions in my quest to discover the WHY of my writing. So, fitting with my nature, I Googled: Why do writers write?
One blog instantaneously drove me to a more intense contemplation of my personal craft. Dale M. Kushner had two blogs devoted to answers about her craft in the form of questions.
- Were books accessible to you as a child? Were you encouraged to read? What were your favorite books?
- Are there any early experiences that encouraged you to become a writer and a story-teller?
- What books have fortified you as a writer?
- Are there aspects of craft that engage you more than others?
- Why is the unconscious mind a writer’s best friend?
- How does writing change the writer?
- What are you working on now?
I found these seven questions fascinating. I do not think that I have ever thought of myself as a writer and then required myself to answer any form of a question from a writer’s perspective. (See… I told you in my opening blog that I was a newbie. Even after three years in the blogosphere, I am still processing the world with a newbie mentality.)
So, for anyone out there that might be interested in the answers- completed unfiltered and untested, here would be my first answers about me, Roger, as a writer.
Are there any early experiences that encouraged you to become a writer and a storyteller?
I have always loved to talk. I have always loved to tell stories. Ask any of my closest friends, I don’t shut up. As a little kid, I remember having to try very hard to tell the truth and not invent a new storyline for each retelling of an event. (It seemed that there were always ways to improve the story!)
What books have fortified you as a writer?
Books gave me life as a kid- especially in the winter. I would read three and four books a day on school breaks. By fifth grade, I had an agreement with our librarian to be allowed to read all of the new books BEFORE they were put on the shelf. (I had read everything in our entire school library- including the encyclopedias on a dare!)
What books are fortifying me now?
Wow! I wish I knew. I have driven into the driest ditch of my life with reading. I cannot find a book that I enjoy???? Do I read books for my students? Do I read for my personal enjoyment? I have not found the answer. In the last six months, I have read (maybe) six books. Usually, this total would have been 20 or more. I have fallen into the malady of NETFLIX and AMAZON PRIME. This is a disorder for which I have not found relief.
Are there aspects of craft that engage you more than others?
I enjoy a fast paced storyline. I enjoy teh smaller chapter concept. I have not yet mastered that art form! Until I have a better grasp on this form … I think that writing my novels will be on the shelf.
I have gotten better wiht dialogue. (I guess that should not surprise me since I love to chatter?)
Why is the unconscious mind a writer’s best friend?
I love the fact that as a storyline comes in being that it seems to take on a life of its own. Often, I do not know how a story is going to end, as I am writing flash. With only 100-500 words, there are times that the specific events a character chooses to act upon in the storyline requires a certain outcome. Then there are times that I know the beginning of a story and I have envisioned the ending… so by necessity, I have to find the happenings that can link to two parts.
How does writing change the writer?
Writing- the desire to find quality time- has changed the way I plan my days. I am still working to discover ‘the when’ for my best writing. This has been a quest that has not been easy.
What are you working on now?
After taking a break from much of my writing because of a family illness, I am trying to get back on the horse. I find some of my drive lacking. Before the break, I was having a personal quandary about whether to stay as a flash fiction writer or to try to broaden my writing experiences with more lengthy pieces of work. That dilemma was never solved so I am presently stepping back into a flash fiction world.
Written for The Daily Post: February 5, 2017. Craft.