Three words keep staring at me as I ponder. I’m certain there’s something amiss. I keep looking back at them with a slight frown and it takes me quite a while to notice. And when I finally do, my brain demands a few answers.
“Is that a question? If it is, then where’s the question mark ?”
“I think it is, yes, but not all questions are meant to have a question mark do they ?”
“Really now ? Who told you that ? Same one that taught you English ?”
“You don’t have to be so judgemental. Just because it is not my native language doesn’t mean I can’t use it however I like ! I think it is some sort of a rhetorical question. Or a self- imposed order to explain why I write.”
“Right. And now you’ve made a habit of talking to yourself.”
“That’s irrelevant. A lot of people do that ! ”
“Fair enough. Why do you write then ? Noticed the question mark ?”
And that was how these three words are made a question by none other than myself. And truly, I am at a loss because there is no clear answer. I have a few ones that perhaps make no sense.
I write because I was prompted by this Chuck fellow. He made the question and somehow I am compelled to answer. Perhaps even try to make the “essay”, as he described it, a bit more…interesting to read. I’ve been stalking this blog for quite a while now and have attempted to start one of those challenges. The train of excuses is just arriving to save me from the inevitable question. I won’t climb on it this time.
“Have you actually written anything?”
And now is the time for that expression. The one with the remorseful eyes that dare not look the inquiring voice. Lips tightening and an awkward frown. Like trying to apologize for some kind of duty that was neglected. Or perhaps forgotten.
I have written a very short science fiction story. A little less than 2000 words.
“Pff, just that ?”
That’s the only actual and finished piece of writing that I have done, yes. It’s one that I like too. I have a dozen or so unfinished stories that are not to be mentioned. I’ve participated in “collaborative storytelling” Role Playing for a few months. Wasn’t too shabby. I’ve also written a few Dungeons and Dragons adventures for my friends when I was a tad younger. They weren’t very original, frankly. And I’ve attempted to write down the details of a fantasy world that’s on my head for the last couple of years. I have failed that last part, unfortunately.
That’s all, I think.
“So you DO write.”
Yes, I guess I do write. Just a little. Certainly not as much as I want to.
“So, why do you write ?”
The answer seems to come easier now, doesn’t it ? It may not make much sense to you, but there’s nothing more that I admire more in people than creativity and being able to express oneself. In this bleak and grey concrete world, everyday life and the mundane dictate the way we breathe. And the beating of our hearts or the musings of our minds stay hidden. Our passions are drowned in important phone-calls, bills, routine and boredom.
I need this creative outlet. That’s why I keep on coming here, before this empty screen. Trying to sow letters and words, giving them a certain order and hoping that they’ll grow and blossom into something beautiful. Or at least something worth reading. I need this avenue of expression. For when I speak, I often find myself struggling with words. I often use the wrong phrase and fail to convey certain pieces of information. I often find myself misunderstood. I need this way of doing things. It is the best way I have to put the thoughts in my head in some sort of order, to make them coherent. To make them full of purpose and meaning. To actually make sense.
Does that make sense?
I have a very vivid imagination and sometimes things just need to get out. To have them flow out of my head is the easy part. The hard part is to prevent them from flying away and getting lost. To keep them close until they take shape and form. To make the necessary connections between those stray thoughts and ideas so that everything makes sense. Writing is a way to do that. Seeing those notions melding together into a few scribbled lines is satisfying. It keeps me inspired.
Writing, just like everything else in life is a trip. It takes you from point A, the one where you need to express and create something to point B, where you bask in the warmth of achievement. But the best part of this whole experience isn’t the end. Sure, we all feel better when we finish something, but in writing, treading the path from A to B is more important. It’s the part where you learn about yourself, the part where you improve your skills. The multitude of sounds that your keyboard emits under the stress of your fingers. Searching furiously for the right word or it’s synonym. The frustration of being interrupted when on a roll. The victorious grin of eliminating yet another typo. The whole process of creation, just as in other crafts and arts, is like a drug with it’s ups and downs.
I don’t have aspirations. I don’t really care how many people will flock to read my texts. If you like it, then it’s more than enough for me. I had a blast writing it. Let’s move over to the next.
As this “essay” comes to a close, I still wonder.
Why did I write ? I’ve repeatedly tried to participate to a number of challenges, but my excuses have managed to shoot me down before the first paragraph. Isn’t it weird that of all those challenges offered, I managed to finish this one that has nothing to do with fiction ?
Or does it ?
Thanks Chuck, whoever you are. Perhaps I’ll write some more.