Why Write At All?

I wish I could write what I want for a living, but then reality sets in.  Now, maybe that is a defeatist type of attitude but it crosses every aspiring writer/blogger/poet/playwright’s mind every so often. And perhaps these are barriers that I have programmed myself to believe. Like the little devil in your ear telling you, you can’t do it.  I, all too often, will have dialogues with myself that sometimes go like this:

“You can’t! You can’t! You can’t!”

“But why not?”

“Because.”

“But why?”

“Because you are unoriginal and have nothing new to say.  You’re not depraved enough, ugly enough, handsome enough, smart enough.  Need I say more?”

“But-”

“No buts!”

“But I can try-”

“Try and what? Fail?  You think there is an untapped audience just dying to hear what you have to say?  Waiting to hear your endless drivel of your stupid day and your stupid thoughts?  Really?”

Okay, I think the devil has been punishing me long enough, but how true is it?  So I’m not as lecherous, slimy, or debauched as the late 19th century Parisian poets who loved running their fingers through anything that would get them dirty; Do I really need an alibi to speak my mind? The answer is no.  I can write the filthiest thing you’ve ever read and never have to live the terrible things that curse my poor little mind, but does that make me a poser?  To some, they would say yes and some would say no.  Do you need to be raped in order to understand how traumatizing it truly is?  No. Do you need to get shot in order to write a good murder mystery?  Again, the answer is no. Stephen King doesn’t live the torment that he dishes out on paper, so why should I have to? And guess what?  Being a writer means being a poser!  In fact, the word “writer” should be the synonym for “poser”.

Now does it help a story sound more authentic when the writer has actually experienced it for themselves?  Absolutely. But I’m not going to shoot up just so I can make a paragraph sound more “authentic”.  No, what I need to do is start writing how I talk and not write vicariously through the  pen-goggles of somebody else.  That’s no way to live or write.  So find your own voice and talk about what really matters to you and eventually you’ll start to sound like your old self again.  Besides, you can’t really talk until you find your voice.