Lillian's Blog

December 14, 2011

THE QUESTION WE REALLY CANNOT ANSWER

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 10:34 pm

Ever had someone ask you in the middle of a conversation or an interview this question, “What made you decide to write?” or “What made you want to become a writer?” I can never understand why they ask that question. I never thought that was the best question to ask; at least for fiction writers. I wrote since I was able to write. I enjoyed reading and putting words together since I was a child. Writers, such as myself, wrote until people told me, “Oh you’re a writer!” As a kid, you don’t know what the word “Writer” meant.  The reality and imagination combined was like a movie playing in my head and I had to write it down on paper until it made sense.

Writers write because that is what we do best as a hobby first and then as a career. We enjoy writing and we want to say something that we believe is meaningful. Not picking up a pen isn’t an option for us. Our eyes get fatigued in front of a computer after awhile and we get a slight migraine. We get finger cramps and wrist pains here and there, yet we can’t stop because, well, we just can’t. If you believe in God, then it’s a gift from God. If you’re not into religion, it’s still something unexplainable. The urge to say something on paper satisfies you, calms and relaxes you, and at the same time, gives you a thrill from using your creative mind. In my opinion, in life, you don’t have much of a choice when it comes to the talents you have. You feel as if there is an itch you have to scratch when you don’t use your talents frequently. Writing is very hard to stop. But you do have a choice whether to make it a career which time and time again, you will hear those same questions from curious people on why we write.    

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4 Comments »

  1. I’ve found that some non-writers think of writing as a job that you decide you’re going to take up at some point. Writing, like any of the creative arts, isn’t a job in the same way that being a Doctor, Lawyer, or Accountant is. It’s not something that you can choose to be — it’s simply something that you *are*. The same thing goes for people who are artists, actors, musicians, or really anyone in one of the traditional arts fields. These are not things you wake up one day at age 15, 25, 45, etc and decide “I’m going to be an …”

    This is a problem for many people to wrap their heads around because it’s not a pat answer allowing them to point to one pivotal moment. I’m the same way as you: I’ve been creating stories since I was a kid, and writing them down on paper was the only way to make sense of what was going on. And as novelist and Advertising Age columnist James Brady said, “Writing novels is not a career. Or an amusement. Or, God knows, a business. It is an addiction those of us afflicted by it are powerless to resist.”

    Comment by Matthew Delman — December 16, 2011 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  2. There is only one question which I believe which can never be answered.
    Every question which is asked must have an answer,
    Whether the answer is complete or incomplete
    Whether the answer is correct or wrong
    An answer has still been given

    Therefore the only remaining solution to the topic of this discussion
    “THE QUESTION WE REALLY CANNOT ANSWER”
    is simply the question which is NOT ASKED

    RLM
    http://www.twitter.com/mypennameonly
    [please follow me]

    Comment by Robin Leigh Morgan — December 18, 2011 @ 12:04 pm | Reply

  3. Is it possible that people ask questions like this because they (for a variety of reasons) do not feel the compulsion to express themselves? We are a tribe they don’t understand. Many years ago I received a question very similar to it, when I chose to be a Marine officer. “Why? What on earth made you choose a career like that?” Later, the same question about surfing third reef Sunset on the North Shore. what they all had in common was a sense of puzzled wonderment… In a few cases, it was curiosity in its most direct and tactless form, with a measure of amused condescension in it… 🙂 In a few others, a wistful sense of something they might have missed, if only…

    Just speculating out loud…

    Comment by dirksayers — December 24, 2011 @ 4:07 am | Reply

  4. It’s so interesting to see these comments – all of which are easy to identify with. Some people feel that they desperately want to write but that there is a bit of an ingredient missing (I think). Which, of course, are the compulsion, links inside the head and sense of play (?). I would add that to bounce life on to a manageable sheet of paper into controllable text is a way of dealing with things too – and observing them more objectively – even when this process isn’t easily apparent. Interestingly, I had a course of anti-depressants two years ago and for that year was acutely aware that whatever it was that had led me to write from the earliest point possible had changed into something leaden, uninspired and slightly unnecessary. It was a joy to have the old curse back, once I’d got off the things again – like getting myself back. (PS. I had to smile at the times all these are posted).

    Comment by Dinah Capparucci — December 27, 2011 @ 6:15 am | Reply


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