Forgive the strained title. It's very hard to get all four spellings of a homophone into a succinct yet catchy title. Today I'm deviating from the standard nail path, again. My girlfriends and fellow bloggers Evin and Shelley have been collaborating, only this time it doesn't require the use of hand tools or much mockery of PeopleWhoAreDumb. They've defined the convergence point of being a blogger and still being a real person, and they've created a "challenge" around it - Come Play in May with the Axis of Ineptitude. This challenge will run May 1-31, and the only rule is to Be Real in your writing. Also, because this challenge is created by real people, they know that not everyone will have an entry every day. In fact, if we're taking speculation, I'm gonna bet that not even the founders manage to do the full challenge, every day, on time - because they're real people. I can already tell you that I will not make all 31 prompts, but I shall endeavor to join in when the prompt speaks to me and I don't have other crap on my plate. Are you with me so far? Good.
The starting prompt for this challenge:
Why do I write?
I write because I have words - lots and lots of words. At night, my words run around in my head, playing leapfrog and rearranging themselves in ways which fascinate me endlessly, and also keep me from sleeping. I tell my words to be quiet, but if any of you have ever had words, you know they don't listen. Words only speak. After a long night of partying in my head, sometimes my words sleep during the day, which is inconvenient for me as I try to write, when my words won't wake up, but there they are, snuggled into the recesses of my brain, like little pieces of pineapple and mandarin orange suspended in jello. Word jello.
I write because when I want to use my words, sometimes they don't like to come out of my mouth. They line up inside my head but when I give the marching orders to my mouth, they all fuss and tumble and nobody wants to go first, and then they all spill out, but not in the neat and orderly way that I wanted. I once kissed the Blarney Stone, hoping for the gift of eloquence, but I don't think my words were paying attention and all I got was a head cold.
I write because I'm out of my element in a foreign country where even though I seem to know the language, sometimes my words and their words are the same words but don't mean the same thing. Oft times I actively avoid using my words, because letting my words come out of my mouth only attracts attention and when you're trying to buy tampons the last thing you need is another person asking you where you're from and why you're here and if you like it and WHY CAN'T YOU SEE I'M BUYING TAMPONS AND CHOCOLATE AND WINE AND LEAVE ME ALONE???, but even though those words are screaming inside my head, I can't let them out because that would just draw more attention and the cycle is vicious and yes cycle has two meanings in this sentence.
I write because it's better than being stabby.
I write because I want to touch the people and places that I miss, because even though I know that most of them don't read what I write anyway, it is cathartic for me to talk to them, sort of like writing to Santa Claus or the tooth fairy, but moreso like writing letters to loved ones who've passed when you have things that went unsaid, and the words press on your heart until you're pretty sure that it's turned pancake-shaped and if you don't let the words out, grief will come along with cookie cutters of regret and start carving out bits and pieces of your soul until all you are is soul-dough scraps with holes where your feelings used to be.
I write because I read. Somehow those go together.
I write because it's the only skill I've ever had that still holds my interest, even after all this time. Someone once told me that because I'm an Aries, I'll never be able to finish anything I start, because I will get bored as soon as it doesn't go my way and move on to another project. I don't think that's aligned in the stars, but it certainly makes me wonder, because I quit trying to make music and draw and sculpt and bake and do lots of other things after getting disheartened when I reached my talent plateau. My words never leave me, even when I know I'll never be the best at them, if such things could even be measured anyway.
I write because I like putting all my words into place and then moving them around until they look right and sound right and say what I need them to say. Inside my head is a forge and I take my words with big iron tongs and I thrust them into the fire and then I beat them and fold them and wrap them and hone them until I am satisfied, and when I click "Publish" or "Send" the smith inside my head thrusts my words into a water bath where they are hardened into their final form and sent along their way to be used for good or evil by someone else. Sometimes I save some words to wield for myself, too, but those are usually the ugliest ones that I know will do damage and I don't want them out in the world because then people will know that I'm the one who made those ugly, horrible tools. I don't worry that they'll judge me - they've already done that. I worry that they'll come to me and ask me to make more.
I write because it is sometimes all I can do. I am a writer. What are you?
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