One of my fellow fantasy writer, Daniel Ionson, asked me to compose a homage about why I write, and kindly offered to post it on his blog. (You can visit Daniel’s blog at http://danielionson.wordpress.com/). I thought the piece would be worth sharing on my blog, and on here too, since I haven’t posted for some time.
(Storybuilder Inc. fans, not to worry – I am on a short break while I wait for the busy academic term to end.)
I am a writer, and that means I write. If I were thrown into a dungeon and told I could have but one thing, I would ask for a pencil. You see, with a pencil I could at least write my stories on the walls and keep it sharp by rubbing it against the edge of the stone. If you were kind, you might give me paper, for when the walls are full, and perhaps a dictionary, so I might discover new words to play with. But if you weren’t, still I’d find a way to put my stories between the lines of others and ponder their meaning.
I am a writer, and that means I love words. When I awaken, I hear words and sort them out in my head like playing cards, shuffling with abandon until I find an arrangement that makes me grin. My truest distress comes when I cannot find a pad of paper, and my academic notes are often inscribed with scribbles about a fantasy worlds that might be just as obscure as the mathematics that fill the rest of their pages.
I live to write. This does not mean I must write to live, for the two are not the same thing. No, often I starve so that I can write and make a living so that I do not starve too much. Book deals, book store placements, fan letters—these are by-products, afterthoughts, and compliments that make me happy, but I am far more contented to enjoy the friends I meet on the way. You will never hear me ask you to buy my books, but you will hear me talk about how much I enjoyed writing them.
I am a writer, and that means I love stories. I live story. I breathe story. I am story. If, upon my departure from this mortal frame I were to enter into a wonderful afterlife and behold, in a glance, the life I’ve lived, my truest regret would be all those moments I spent worrying and forgetting. Life is full of wonder, fear, joy, sadness, excitement, pain, mystery, and uncertainty, but above all, life is full of story, and could I live for ever I would live to discover more stories, and expand the universe just a little.
Come, reader, friend, scholar, muse. Close your eyes, just for a moment, and think of what surrounds you, every time you draw breath, and every time you let it go. Life is endless and immense, it is the comfort of a mother to her only son, the sorrow of a wife who’s lost her soul-mate. It is the anger of a lost traveler, and the rage of a betrayed lover; the folly of arrogant fools, the wisdom of old men whose bitterness has made them hunch, the rudeness of a joker, the hurtful tears of one who doubts herself. Life is strange, enticing, tantalizing and profound.
And so I write, eager to capture all these fleeting snowflakes in their glass ornamental stories, eager to live every moment twice as fully, daring to dream, daring to write, no matter the cost.