By: Linette Morgan
Why do I write? Questions like these make me ask of myself, “Where do I begin?”
I write because the voices in my head have something to say. I joke that being a writer is the only medically and socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. It is not at all unheard of to hear me say that these voices kept me up all night, until I relented and wrote down what they were telling me.
I remember a time when I used to say “I’m not a writer, I’m a poet.” Aside from the fact that I was silly to think one was different from the other, I was so wrong! My best friend, my Sister by Choice, broke me out of my shell and I’ve never had the ability to look back. Writing makes my heart beat.
Asking me, a writer, why I write is kind of like me asking you why you breathe. You breathe to survive, of course! You breathe to nourish your body’s need for oxygen. If you stopped breathing, you would simply die. When I have writers’ block, or a lack of opportunity to sit and write, it feels a little like I’m dying inside. Slowly, painfully dying.
I write, because there is an entire generation, or two, who need books. Somewhere along the way, our children have lost the value of reading. I was five years old the first time I picked up a “real” book to read. A small novel, rather than a children’s’ book… And I was hooked. My son was eleven, I think, when he read his first novel, and I had to coerce him.
“Read five chapters, Robert, and if you don’t like it you can put it down. But you have to read five chapters.”
That’s how I hooked him. He just informed me the other day, almost eighteen years later, that he is going to start rereading that series that started his love of reading.
It only takes one book, and if you know people at all, you will write a book that will hook an entire generation. My son is nearly twenty-nine years old now, and he still tells everyone who will listen about his love for Piers Anthony’s Xanth series every chance he gets!
Those are the reasons I write. I write because I need to write to live in this insane world. I write because future generations depend on me to keep their imaginations alive and well so they can survive in this insane world.
I write because I can’t not write.