Before I begin today's topic, a quick note:
If you'd like to aid those affected by last week's tornadoes and floods, let me recommend Help Write Now, an auction put on by several members of the writing community. Some of those writers live in damaged or devastated areas. Proceeds benefit the Red Cross.
I'm donating a manuscript critique, and just may bid on some of the other items—some of which should appeal to writers, and others to readers. Want to help? Go on over and fill out their short-and-sweet donation form, and/or subscribe to the blog for auction news and items for bid.
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Being of the artistic personality and therefore clinically insecure, I spent some of this past week vacillating between the idea that I Suck and this question: Why bother writing novels, when there are so many in the world? The question could apply to keeping a blog, too. Not to mention creating poetry, art, musical composition, quilts, culinary presentation, dance, or anything else done more for beauty or expression or love of the work than for practical, measurable benefit.
Creation of beauty for its own sake is a deeply human and worthwhile process. Unfortunately, my response to that fact is sometimes along the lines of "Yes, but is my work beautiful enough to matter?!" Sometimes we need the silly personal reasons that keep us going when we think we're no good. Here are mine.
I write because:
...There are no brakes on the drive of an inborn writing tendency. I can't stop.
...The hunger for another good story grows with every one I read.
...Writing helps me process ideas and experiences better than almost anything else. And no big idea or experience is ever thoroughly processed until I've written my way through it.
...Words are just so beautiful when properly strung together.
...Other people's writings have built up my sanity and hope, and I want to pay that forward.
...My characters deserve to be known and loved, in my opinion (which is biased by motherly pride, of course).
...The pent-up nervous energy and emotion of the clinically insecure artist can really come in handy around an open Word document. Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it. :)
...and probably more reasons than I can think of now. My brain kept me awake till five AM and is now propped up on nothing but coffee.
Why do you write—or draw, or make music, or plant elaborate flower gardens, or otherwise create impractical beauty?