Sunday, 27 May 2012

Why the need to write?

Okay this is a tricky one. I’m sticking to my self imposed one hour deadline for each blog so I may have to do additional parts to this if I miss something major which I’m likely to do.
I’ve mentioned before that writing is something I have enjoyed since I was a kid, I have notebooks from primary school that testify to my ability to write in a straight line but the hint at storytelling ability…that evidence may not hold up in court. I read a lot when I was young (that’s another blog) and I recall that I tried to write but I can’t actually remember what. My first real memory of trying to write ‘something’ is at around 9 or 10 I think, so what I want to discuss in this blog is what is it exactly that makes me twenty plus years later still want to write…and be confident enough to know it’s something I want to do for the rest of my life.
I’ll start by saying I don’t know and am not qualified to describe what a ‘creative’ is and I am not going to attempt a description. I’m just going to use that word so that I cover the range of people who may be artists, designers, writers, etc. I have met many creative people from an enormous range of disciplines and subjects that either make their living (does that mean pay the bills?) through their creativity, or attempt and hope to do so one day. I have also met so many people that may not consider themselves creatively inclined and work in jobs that at first understanding don’t necessary seem creative.  I know though, that they have fantastic imaginations and their minds work in a way that forms ideas I, and many people, would never be capable of. And what is interesting is that some of those people when you talk to them would say I’d love to do stand up one day, I’d love to write a book one day, I’d love to start my own company one day and so on and some of those I believe genuinely would like to and others say it for effect. There are also those who have absolutely no interest in anything like that whatsoever and harbor no desires to do something outside of the life they have set up for themselves and there is nothing wrong with that at all, what makes one person happy and fulfilled does not apply to the next person.
So it makes me feel guilty immediately as I don’t believe I have anything more important to say than any of those that I have just described, I don’t believe I have a deeper insight or knowledge of life than anyone else. In fact, isn’t it incredible when you speak to someone about something personal, say you’re having trouble at work or difficulties in your relationship or what ever it maybe, they come out with the most unexpectedly caring, thoughtful and meaningful advice that you would never have seen coming, it is really touching and it makes you realize that no matter the façade (most) people have a genuinely caring soul. I would love them to write something, sing something, paint something, etc. but if they don’t want to then they don’t want to. Maybe they will one day, maybe they won’t, and it’s not for me to push or decide for them. So I have to get over the fake narcissism I’m guilt tripping on myself, because it’s not that. I don’t want to write because I feel I’m better than anyone else, I simply have an innate love of writing and I want to talk about the things that I am feeling.
I feel better once I have spent time writing. Perhaps you have a similar feeling once you have trained hard at the gym, or gone for a long walk, had a tough day at work…all can be painful, hard and testing with many moments of wondering why the hell you are bothering but ultimately once it’s over and done with you feel better. I can’t comment on the science behind it, I’m sure there is a release of endorphins or similar which explains it. As with the gym say, you also know you are getting better, that’s why it’s called training, you are not the master, you have not got to perfection and you never will, there will always be something.
I guess like most children I used to make up stories, thought I was a good liar, made up worlds and secret clubs with friends, and enjoyed escapism. I never had an imaginary friend but then that was replaced with the books I read and the stories I made up. It’s strange to reflect on it because I have to admit the need to make stuff up has never left me! Adulthood is definitely another blog of its own but to quickly say, the need to write has only got stronger but not just for its own sake (the enjoyment alone of writing and making up stories); it has taken on a greater importance for me, the older I get the more I feel I have something to say and that, regardless of audience, I need to do it anyway. I want to express myself and for me, that means writing. It is maybe for that very reason that I have found the confidence to write as an adult, that I have lost my fear of criticism (replaced by appreciation of it), I am not writing a story that I am worried if my family would like, my teachers would tell me off for, my friends would laugh at…none of that matters to me at all. And also, I am not writing for those things that become so apparent as an adult in and around everyone, fame, money, adoration (I smell another blog on those). I don’t care if I write a hundred stories and not one person likes them, I feel better for writing them, it makes me happy.

Hour’s up. I’ll come back to this another time for sure.


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