Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Why I Became a Writer

You're a writer. And that's something better than being a millionaire. Because it's something holy. ~ Harlan Ellison, On Being a Writer

Mary wrote on her blog yesterday about why she became a writer -- or at least as close as she coul figure. And it made me think...

Why did I become A Writer?

More than anything, I can't help but wonder if writers are born, not made. Seriously -- do you ever wonder if we have an extra gene? I'll call it the "what if" gene...

You see a lady walk by with a baby that clearly isn't hers. Most people without the What If gene would glance at her, think "Huh." or something equally deep, and move on.

A Writer with the gene?

* What if she killed the mother and married the father because he's a gazillionaire who runs an oil company that she's been trying to infiltrate to steal the secret they've discovered about making oil from water.

You see?

People with the "What If" gene don't wonder where you get your ideas. They KNOW because they get them, too. All the time. Ideas bombard the entire population every single day, but you need that extra gene to receive them. It's like radio waves -- but if don't have your radio turned on and tuned you don't receive them.

I don't remember not writing. I can remember writing my first novel (all eighteen handwritten chapters of it) in fourth grade. But I can't imagine that I sat down to do that without having warmed up at a younger age. I suspect my DD will be the same way -- since she's already written two "books".

I love to read, love, Love, LOVE to read. And I think my desire to write must have come with the times I hated endings. Like "Where the Red Fern Grows". While, as an adult and A Writer, I realize that the book couldn't have even existed without that ending I hated it. I wish I'd never read it. Other books that I discovered had sad endings before I read them (like The Yearling)... never even cracked the cover.

I also think that may be why I write romance. Who wants a story that ends unhappily? NOT ME. Never. I don't think there's ever an excuse for it. Real life sucks. Seriously. So why, when you can create anything, would you want to break hearts, when they're already breaking every day all over the world??? Romeo and Juliet (or, alternatively -- as if once wasn't enough -- West Side Story)? Hated it. Romantic? No. Especially not R&J. Juliet was an idiot. Actually, come to think of it, Romeo wasn't exactly top of his class either. Sorry if I'm being sacrilegious, and criticizing the great Shakespeare. I love his stuff, mostly, but thought R&J was awful. Oddly, I never had a problem with Hamlet and the massive amount of death in that story, so it must be that I perceive that romance stories MUST END HAPPILY.

So I became a writer to stop the voices in my head. To reward the "What If" gene for throwing ideas at me. To create happy endings in a world with so few.

And, as I've said before, I can't not write, even if I never get published because it's part of who I am.

What about you? Why did you become a writer? Can you remember what caused you to pick up your pen/pencil/keyboard and start your first story?


Tori Lennox said...

LOL! You borrowed the topic from Mary and I just borrowed it from you. *g*

MaryF said...

I LOVE THIS!!!!! This is so --- me!!! The What If gene - I was going to my friend's baby's birthday party and driving out in the middle of nowhere thinking, this would be a good place to hide a body. Wrong, I tell you!

And double yes on the happy endings!!!