I am delighted, honored, and just plum tickled to have been nominated for the Why I Write blog hop by two writers I respect and admire.
Drew Chial‘s prose is poetic, his stamina with each blog post and story impressive. Not only does he write, but he Photoshops his own stock photos. You can find a gallery of those pictures (and I highly recommend you check them out) at his blog, along with a treasure trove of articles offering writing and blogging advice. His book, Terms and Conditions, is also available for free alongside many other truly unique works of fiction of the Horrific Fantastical variety. Find out why he writes here.
Mark T. Conard is the source of my intelligence. He doesn’t give me the answers, so much as he encourages me to find them for myself. His blog offers philosophical topics for you to mull over, as well as quotes that have been hilariously ducked with. Follow his #AndShit and #ShakespeareBitches hash tags on Twitter for endless hours of entertainment. He writes Noir Fiction and Essays, many of which you can find at Amazon. Read his Why I Write blog hop here.
I’m sure I’ve answered this question before, but it’s definitely worth revisiting because the answer evolves as I grow as a writer. Why do I write? When I wrote the first draft of this post, I had a general idea of where I was going. By the end of it, I learned something very important about myself; the real reason why I write.
When I started writing in April of 2013, I did so with the hopes of learning a new skill that I could possibly use to make a little money. From the beginning, three new worlds opened to me; a world I belonged to because it was filled with people just like me, a world (more accurately, worlds) where anything was possible, and a world I felt safe in because nothing bad had happened or could happen to me or my loved ones while I was there.
I escape to these worlds as often as possible, and stay as long as I can.
The world of social media opened up and bloomed before my eyes in the form of WordPress blogs and Twitter. I’d never imagined there were so many people who lived in an alternate universe, just like I did. These writers (and even some actors and models) chase their dreams in a much more literal sense than just pursuing their goals, the same as me.
We concentrate on the quivery visions that appear only in daydreams. We strive to bring to life every leaf dancing in a shaft of daylight, every tear running a mascara-laden trail through beige foundation. Our characters lead us through conflict while we hope against hope, into despair when we lose that hope, and out the other side to a place where a new life awaits them, perhaps not quite what they expected, but much better than it could have been. Through it all we try to convey those stories to others (whom we fondly refer to as our readers) with the same desperate vivacity with which we received them. It’s an exquisite release when we can manage to do just that.
The world of people who do what I do is one I visit frequently. I do so in spurts, but when I’m there, I’m adrift among a sea of my kind. The worlds I create are worlds I visit in even shorter bursts, and only when I’m able to persuade my muse to come along. Thankfully, she’s generous with her time and usually nearby. I write to escape to those worlds, but that doesn’t answer the question, not completely.
So why do I write? To pretend I don’t live in a world where bad things have happened to me, or to those I care about. People who know me often tell me they wish they were as strong as I am. I write, though, because I’m not strong enough to live in this world all the time. Writing offers me a way to escape temporarily, to live in a world where I’ve never lost someone who meant the world to me, where the horrible things that happened to my loved ones never happened, where I have always been treated with love and respect, and where I didn’t almost die at the metaphorical hands of my worst fear.
I write to reach out, to explore, and to escape. I write not just to pretend other worlds exist, but to pretend that this one doesn’t. I love my life as it is now, but I traveled a long, hard road to get here. And sometimes, I like to pretend I took a different path. Writing allows me to be someone else entirely, a writer only and nothing more, for a brief moment of respite. It took me a while to see it, but that’s why I write. Those three worlds help me deal with this one.
If I hadn’t been nominated by Drew, I’d have asked this same question of him. And Mark was nominated by Drew, and he nominated me, so I can’t ask him. I am fortunate enough to have met quite a few excellent writers/bloggers, and I’d love to nominate them all as a sort of blog-hop, group-hug type deal. Though I can’t pick them all, I’m pretty sure many of them have already written a Why I Write blog post. I know for sure Graham Milne and Joanne Blaikie have. And I know @Raishimi has been nominated already. I’m going to grab a few of my closest confidants, favorite writers, and most trusted friends who I’d like to know even more about.
M.J. Kelley, writer of non-fiction, fiction, and comedy, and Workshop Moderator Extraordinaire. (Who I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with on an upcoming workshop.) His blog: Write Draft Repeat