© 2017 Ryan Kriger
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.