I’m sitting with a group of strangers in a local church that has offered this Shut Up and Write Meet Up space to write.
We are all here to work on whatever it is we are writing. Some are writing novels, short stories, blogs, school papers and lots of stuff I don’t know about. And, of course, it doesn’t matter because the beauty of this type of group is that there is only one criterion: Don’t talk for the hour.
And so here I sit, laptop at the ready for my brilliant prose.
Why? Why am I here and why do I find it necessary to write? It’s a question I am asking myself today? It particularly came to me as I was having a conversation with a friend who has a more conventional job. Why did I choose writing as a career?
No matter how many years I’ve been writing, it never gets easier. In fact, every project poses its own unique challenges. There is no “plug and play” option by which I can use a formula for each assignment. In fact, even this blog post has its own rules.
Many writers will say they write because they have to. They are driven to write by some unknown yearning to create. It is an overwhelming passion to strive for exactly the right word, to convey with lucidity and clarity the precise phrase.
Not an easy task but passion writers constantly strive for.
Some writers seem to always succeed at this challenge more than others. But, for all writers, whether professional or not, the drive to create with words is the same; Writing is not a choice, but an addiction that has no cure except to give in and write more.
Is there really a muse?
Writers talk about something called the “muse” which is supposed to help writers with inspiration. The Muses are the inspirational goddesses of literature, science, and the arts in Greek mythology. It can refer in general to a person who inspires an artist, musician, or writer.
I call it the “Aha” moment, which normally takes a while to find. I need to noodle around online to hopefully find an article or site that inspires me to create my own vision and work.
I constantly aspire to find a muse, but, it never shows up on its own. I have to work hard, think deep and create.
How it all started
So how did I obtain the writing disease? For me, it all began when I wanted to record what was happening in our world which led me to journalism. It was intoxicating to be the witness of record for Senate hearings, political protests as well as issues closer to home such as neighborhood squabbles.
My career evolved to a professional level as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and research director. It’s not so convoluted as it sounds like the same skills apply across the board: research and write.
While I only saw myself as a journalist, eventually I wrote a book, so now I can add “author” to my resume, which was much more difficult than news reporting.
Which brings me to writing this post. I write for a living as it is the only skill I have to make my way in the world. As painful it can be, it is my addiction that I have no interest in curing.