I've been thinking about why I write.
All of us who write know this is dangerous and terrible mental ground upon which we shouldn't trod. Even knowing that we shouldn't push past the barbed wire and "Dangerous Precipice, Stay Back!" signs, we all wander over there occasionally anyhow. This has been my week for it.
I wish that I were writing to share some profound truth that can only be shared through fiction, like Dostoevsky, I wish I were writing for therapy, to heal myself and others, like Robert Pirsig. Or, I wish I were writing to protest the ills of this world and make the world a better place like Atwood or Le Guin or a host of others. I wish I were writing stories of profound spiritual value, like Lewis and L'Engle.
But I'm not.
I write because I like to tell stories. I was raised on stories. My mom and dad both told family stories constantly when I was a kid. My dad also told a lot of what I would call "moral tales", illustrative examples of how to live life in an honorable way, or how not to live life, depending on his mood and my most current infractions. Stories are my way of communicating when I have something to say other than "Hi, how are you? Pass the salt."
I write because I need to say something, and I hope that someone will read it. I hope that they'll be cheered or touched in some way even if I don't think I'm writing profound truth or entertaining lies. Some people say that one should only write for oneself. As solitary a creature as I can be, I find that idea too stifling. It frees my imagination to think that someone, somewhere, might read what I've written. So here I am, writing, and mangling Yoda wisdom for my own purposes. 🙂