I have thought about it, a lot, and have probably spouted the age-old answer: ‘I write because I want to.’ But, what does that mean? Scribble? Or do I mean some kind of continuous stream that will eventually attract someone’s attention? Am I really planning to be a novelist? Or do I fancy myself in the trade of public observation, like in a regular column? Yes, I’d like to live in that description. I want to describe, sum-up and comment on people, places & stuff; but I also want to create and lie for a living.
Living to lie; that sounds just the right slant to me – I want to be that! A writer friend of mine has a blog at blogger called ‘Every Day I Lie a Little’ and it’s pretty hysterical. Lying is fun. I remember people coming to me for lies in the 70s, when they’d taken time off work or been late; I was a great liar and could come up with the most outrageous stuff that was so out-there that they could only be the truth!
I don’t know why I was drawn into the world of writing but I think it might mostly be the fault of Margaret Atwood; I fell after I’d read her for the first time – The Handmaid’s Tale did me in. That was probably about 1988; I’d spent the years before that at some party or another and seemed to have drank my adult life away – I really don’t remember much about 1985 or 6 or Chernobyl because I was mostly drunk!
I thought I was happy then. We had the time of our lives, Carrie and me: me and Carrie tripping from party to party, men to men – cool was our middle name. When I stopped it all and started college Carrie found it very difficult, propping up bars by herself…and it took me two years to get her to leave me alone; to stop trying to drag me out to pubs. I’d discovered further education and Writing; a new drug – it took me over completely and I haven’t been the same since. Carrie eventually forgave me.
So why do I write? I don’t know; this stuff just falls out of my head and there it is, on the paper, on the screen – it swims around me like a feeding shark, nipping at my heels and sometimes (well mostly) there is so much of it. Then it needs filing and remembered, and then editing begins and never stops, but then a shiny new thing comes in and distracts me and I see the end of the road taking a turn, twisting into all those zed-bends. Navigation is murder.
So why do you write?