About a week ago, I finally finished a manuscript I’d been collaborating on for at least the last two years. My writing partner and I had a deadline to meet and typical me - I kind of waited until the last minute to deliver my best. Some writers are like that. We can’t get our juices flowing until we hear that clock ticking louder and louder! That said, I tuned everybody out, including my family, and got to work.
When I was done, my sister-in-law called to ask me a question about my writing. Specifically, why do I write? She’s a property manager. A cut and dry kind of job with great benefits and stability. While writing, of course really offers none of that. Not without a hefty out of pocket price, by the way.
I had a hard time answering that question. I had to think for second. Was it because I like it? Because I feel I’m good at it? Because others have told me that’s my gift? Can’t possibly be the money, that’s for sure! So what I told her is I simply write for the ‘heck of it’. What does that mean exactly? For me, it means that I write because when all else fails, that’s what I turn to and that’s always been the case. When I’m sad, I write. When I’m mad, I write. When I’m happy, anxious, feeling threatened, feeling creative, feeling philanthropic – for every emotion I feel, I write. So I write for the heck of it the same way a singer might sing or a dancer might dance. When it’s something so intrinsic you can’t really imagine doing anything else. Writing is an outlet, my meal ticket, my personal punching bag, my best friend. Writing in a sense is everything. And no, it’s not perfect and sometimes it frustrates me to no end. But it’s what I do when everything else doesn’t make sense. So writing for the heck of it might bring both joy and disappointment – but it never fails. Feel free to share why you write!