Well, it’s been a while between blogs but I’ve now sufficiently recovered from completing my novel to get revved up about writing again. Recently I started thinking Why do I write anyway?
In answer to this question many writers would say I write because I have to. And not having done any fresh writing for a while now I’m beginning to realise what this means. When I don’t write I lose focus, I get crabby without knowing why, I shuffle papers and (sometimes) tidy the house and send emails, but feel no real sense of purpose or achievement.
In a recent interview with Genie Zeiger ( http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/335/keep_the_hand_moving) my original “writing guru” Natalie Goldberg had this to say about writing:
There’s a difference, though, between writing as practice and writing as art: Writing as practice is an acceptance of your whole mind and whatever comes through you, moment by moment. Writing as art is taking what comes through you and directing it. Writing practice is the whole ocean, but when you’re creating art, you dig a canal and direct the force of the water in a particular way.
It’s the writing practice that Goldberg talks about here that’s important, allowing the words to come out in whatever shape and form they want, connecting to the “wild mind” inside of us and writing because we love to write not because we want to impress somebody else or see our names in print. Of course this too is a worthwhile goal, the creation of the art that Goldberg also speaks about. But we need to remember that writing practice is crucial to our lives as writers, that we write because it connects us to ourselves and to some deeper voice which flows through us and out onto the page. And in turn connects us to others.
Of course there are many other reasons to write – what are some of yours?