Last night I was sent an advance copy of an ebook a friend of mine is writing. It’s about writing. It’s about writing your life, writing your truth, whether anyone else will ever read it or not. I hope that once it’s finished I’ll get to share it with you here but until then…
As soon as I read the introduction I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to put pen to paper. I wanted to write. I was compelled to write.
The sensation feels similar to hunger. It gnaws at me. I need to feed the hole, but instead of in my stomach, this hole is in my brain. Like an itch deep in my head that I can only get to through the forming of words on a page. Typing them doesn’t help all that much.
This time of year always does it to me. There is something about Autumn. Today is the first day of rain in Vancouver this season and it has bucketed down for 24 hours straight. The constant drip and patter outside is the perfect soundtrack for mulling things over.
Maybe I romanticized Robert Frost writing in the New England Autumn a little too much…
Either way, today I had to write. And not even knowing where to begin, just knowing I wanted to write, I posed the obvious question to myself since no obvious answer had ever presented itself to me before.
Why do I feel compelled to write?
I’m a musician. I’m not an author or a journalist or a lawyer or a screenwriter or even a particularly prolific letter writer. I’m a terribly inconsistent blogger (like I said typing doesn’t really do it for me in the same way). Writing is somewhat archaic, somewhat useless, somewhat eclipsed by emails and texts and ‘magazine’ literature, but somewhat necessary. It won’t die. It’s just not necessarily respected like it should be. Is this all just a terrible hangover from school and new stationary in September? Why the itch? Why the hunger?
Why do I feel compelled to write?
I want to write because it feels good.
I want to write because I know how.
I want to write because writing leads to beautiful things like songs and poems.
I want to write because it’s good for my health. I feel like I burn more calories and get stretched out just by writing.
I want to write because I am full of opinions. Full.
I want to write because it has that old-fashioned allure. Fountain pen anyone?
I want to write because writers are respected, even bad ones. Especially good ones.
I want to write because I love messing around with words.
I want to write because carving out a cathedral of words in the English language means something – even if it’s just for yourself, in service of your day.
English was made for writers and artists. English was made to be messed with. There is a reason it’s the only language I speak fluently.
I own my command of the English language and when I sing words like
‘There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.’
‘…palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss…’
I feel good inside. I feel like new again.
Ah! Itch scratched!
Knowing why you feel compelled to make the art you do, create in the ways you love, gives you incredible power. Power to continue creating in the face of a culture that doesn’t rate these pursuits like it should.
Writing for writings sake? Not exactly something to put on your CV…or is it?!
The next round of Creative Scaffolding kicks off next week and if you want to explore why you feel compelled to create and what it means for you, this is the place.
This is the place where you see just how useful, just how of-service, just how vital, practical, bankable your urge to create is. As far as I’m concerned it’s make-or-break important! It’s the thing that gets you the job (Yes! Creatives troubleshoot, improvise, see new possibilities, collaborate…who wouldn’t want to hire that?) helps you raise your awesome kids, makes you an engaging person, makes you unique and whole and happy.
I really hope you’ll join me. You can find all the details here…
What do you feel compelled to create? WHY?
I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below…Happy Writing!