I'm not sure why other people write. In my college creative writing classes, there was always one guy who, when faced with criticism of his work, would respond, "Well, I write for myself."
To which I'd think, "Then why are you making us read this shit?"
I don't write for myself. I have never been able to keep a journal. I have about half a dozen really nice leather-bound journals, each of which has only two or three pages filled in. I always got too tired of trying to fill in the back story, before I got to the good stuff.
I've heard that some writers write because they need to write. They just have this all-consuming desire to get their words on the page, to express themselves, to see the beauty of their language bloom in a million scintillating metaphors.
That ain't me either. I need to eat. I need to rest. Sometimes I need to vent. OK, often I need to vent. But that's about it: eating, resting, occasionally yelling. Writing doesn't even make the top three needs.
So why do I write? Because I've got these stories, and I think they might be good. I think they might be original. I think they might be entertaining.
When I was a kid, I used to gobble up fantasy and sci-fi lit like you wouldn't believe, because I loved the new worlds they contained. I liked to imagine myself living in those worlds, interacting with the characters, having great adventures. And very early on I started dreaming up fantasy worlds of my own. (There's probably an obvious psychological explanation for this behavior, but that's not what this post is about.)
And here's the thing about a story. It's worthless if you keep it to yourself. Stories are meant to be told, to be shared and passed on.
I want other people to get to traipse about in worlds of my creation.
I want characters I've imagined to take up residence in the minds of others, where they can bother someone else for a while.
That's why I write.
© 2020 Ryan Kriger