personal · writing

Why I Write

Many authors would answer the question of why they write with the answer, to live more than one life. That is a common response. I write to live one. I have chronic pain in my back that limits my ability to simply live life, but the Lord has blessed me with the ability to live many lives, one at a time, in my mind and I get to live them with you, the reader, through the page. I live the story out in my mind as if it were really happening and I do my best to share the scene with you as lifelike as I possibly can through the venue of shared language.

My pain came on in my early twenties. Prior to that time, I was a talker. I used all my words superfluously to talk to friends and coworkers. I was known as a chatterbox once you got to know me. I’ve always been introverted and shy to those I don’t know but was more than willing to reach out to the few people I knew.

Then came the internet. My pain was manageable then, mostly rearing its head in the form of sciatica and numb toes. I sat in front of my screen and knew a freedom I’d never felt before. The ability to talk to people I didn’t know, without fear. I could be the ‘me’ I was with people I knew and shut it off when I was exhausted. The introvert sometimes craves the life of an extrovert, but it does sap every ounce of energy out of you. After a few years of pouring all of myself out on the web, I left the online communities for about three years, though I kept up with a few select friends, whom I cherish.

In the time I was away, my pain came on full force even to the point of requiring surgery which only helped for a short time. It was then, when I started closing myself off from people, that stories began to form in my head. I could sit and watch my children and let scenes run their course in my head. Each time the scene would come it would be more detailed and more complete than the last. The colors brighter, the emotion stronger.

On occasion, the story would even invade my dreams and I could watch the entire tale from beginning to end as if it were a Hollywood production, a cinematic feat of the highest order. I can only assume that I was blessed with this not because I have such talent, but because if I was given that much fodder, surely I could put enough of it on paper to convey the best parts.

One year ago, in 2014, for NaNoWriMo camp, after helping people edit their writing for two years, I decided to put the story that had been going on in my head for years to paper. It took a little over a month to put 83,000 words to paper. It has taken almost a year to edit it into something worth reading but the dreams and scenes of that life finally stopped when I typed them into Word. I have submitted it to a few agents and it isn’t quite ready yet, but it is close. I’m excited to share it with you, though I know, realistically, it could be quite some time before it sees print.

Though I enjoy my little worlds and my favorite imaginary friends, I am looking forward to a time when I can live a real life, not just from the sidelines and not only in my mind. I am hopeful and prayerful of a solution to my situation but am mindful to ask that He continue to give me ideas and random scenes from the lives of people who only exist because I am to share them. Of all the forms of communication I have participated in, writing has become the most pleasurable, relaxing, emotional, and sometimes agonizing that I’ve experienced. This is why I write.

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