Why do I write? Why do I sit at the computer, staring at the cursor blink, blink, blinking away, trying to conjure the right words?
There’s a writing meme doing the rounds at the moment, and the lovely Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me invited me to join in and share why I write.
I could wax lyrical about the therapeutic properties of writing, or about the joy I get from seeing a sentence fall together in just the right way.
But they’re moot points. Those things are simply the result of writing. They’re not the reason I write. There is just one reason I write: because I have to.
What am I working on?
Current projects include a pitch for something big, boring dribs and drabs (don’t tell my clients I called them boring), some picture book manuscripts and, of course, this blog.
And my resumé – I’m thinking about entertaining the possibility of potentially considering returning to the professional working world earlier than originally planned. Maybe. Stay tuned.
How does my writing differ from others in my genre?
I find this question simultaneously difficult and easy to answer.
It’s difficult to answer because I don’t think of myself as writing in a particular genre, and until recently, I didn’t even think of myself as a writer. I didn’t realise that my ability to put words together to make sentences that people might actually choose to read was anything special. I didn’t realise that not everyone can do it. So comparing my writing to others is something I can’t yet fathom doing.
And yet, it’s easy to answer. My writing differs from others because it’s mine. Theirs is theirs, and mine is mine. Ta-da, the end, thanks for coming, I’m here all week, try the veal.
Why do I write what I do?
I write children’s stories for my children and friends (and one day, hopefully, for anyone and everyone) because they arrive in my head almost fully formed, and I have to let them out.
I write for financial institutions because I can. Because I have the background, I know the industry, I know how to break things down for potential clients and customers, and I know how to do it all well.
I write this blog because everything else that I write is for other people. I write this blog for me.
And I write it all because, as I’ve said, I have to. I just have to let the words into the world.
How does my writing process work?
My brain doesn’t switch off. It is always messing around with words and numbers. This may sound weird, but if you say something to me, I will rearrange it in my head, forming dozens of alternatives. I can tell you instantly how many words you said, how many letters are in each of those words, and rearrange your sentence into as many acceptable forms as exist.
I don’t ignore you while I’m doing it. It happens very quickly, and involuntarily. I just can’t help myself.
When I’m trying to get to sleep, counting sheep doesn’t work. I say one sheep, then get lost in the fact that that’s eight letters, half of which are vowels despite the fact that there are only five vowels in our 26-letter alphabet, that it’s a great example of the fact that ‘e’ is the most commonly used letter in English, that there are many acceptable anagrams, but the most useful are probably ‘see phone’ and ‘hope seen’ (although ‘pee shone’ might get a little giggle), and… sleep is forgotten.
I plan in my head. I plan, and plan, and plan. Sometimes those plans make it onto paper, but only as a way of solidifying them in my head.
Then, when I sit down to write, I simply open the gates and allow the words and phrases I’ve been developing in my head to flow through my fingers, over the keyboard and onto the screen. Sometimes the plan is cast aside as things continue to flow. But generally, my head stays on track.
Planning goes on in my head, constantly. The actual writing? It never takes that long.
Except when I’m writing about writing. This post has taken me much longer than any of my others ever has!
Now for the fun part. I’m supposed to tag three people to write about why they write.
Do you write? What compels you to do so?