When I tell you that I’m banging my head on my table as I write this, take it litteraly.
Ever since I was in the 5th grade, and Mr. Klusendorf put the spelling words on the chalkboard and challenged us to write a story using those words, I’ve been a writer. The story I wrote was called “Ronald Mcdonald goes to Porky Pigs farm”, and it was a SMASH in my classroom. A few classmates asked when I was going to write more? What happens next in the story? I loved it.
I became the writer of our class. When there were story assignments, everyone looked forward to my turn to read. The attention, at such a young impressionable age, struck me in a way that would influence me for years to come. I started to study words, grammar, how people spoke. I paid attention to how words influence people. I read and read and read and by the time I hit my freshman year in high school, I was writing and reading at a college level. My tallent had been noticed in my church and they started asking me to write talks and to read them during meetings. I wrote for my drama class. I helped other with their writing. It was part of who I was and continued to be for decades.
And I never took it seriously.
What I mean, is that I never wanted to do it professionally. There have been a few times where I’ve helped people write scripts. I was a writer for a philosophy website (no pay). I’ve helped people flesh out their stories. I’ve even helped with some technical manuals. I did it because it was the thrill of creating something that I was looking for more than a paycheck. I did it because I loved it. I did it because it flowed from me like water.
And then I became a dad and I found myself struggling to take care of a family. I fell into a depression for years brought on by my erodding relationship with my wife. I would eventually crawl my way out with the help of therapy and divorce, but it was my creative side that I lost along the way.
So now, here I am, 18 years later, and I’ve got the time, and the ambition, to reignite my creative side once again. I’m going to start writing more, and get back into the habit. So why am I banging my head on my table?
Because the lack of originality in this post is overwhelming.
This has got to be, what? The one zillionth wordpress article on someone’s love for writing? I bet most of you reading this won’t even make it this far. No one reads anything long on the internet anymore do they? Why am I even bothering writing this? It’s just a drop in the ocean. Few will see this. Few will read this. Fewer will make it to the end.
The short answer is, I don’t write for you. I write for me. I didn’t write for my drama class, my friends, my classmates, my church, or for anyone one or anything, but me. I write because creating something is thrilling to me. It lifts me up. I enjoy the process. I do it because if I don’t, then I’m not me anymore. And I haven’t been me for a while now. That’s all about to change.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You’re a trooper.