Friday, October 12, 2012

Writing More About Writing

I've been putting off this post because it will take such a long time and I don't have a long time to dedicate, but it's especially important that I get down the reasons I write because I've asked my Writers for a Cause authors to do it, and I can't be a hypocrite.  So while I might have to keep adding to this post, at least I am collecting some of what I already have written on the topic and some of what I have said to others when I speak about my books.

Local author Towhanna Boston said this morning on Facebook, "Everyone has a story.......are you will to share your story to help someone else?"  to which I replied, " hit the altruistic core answer to "Why write?" 

There are so many things that inspire writers, including only some of my reasons which are, "I have to," and, 'I've done it since I learned to read.' But as we grow emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and philosophically, I think if we really dig deeply, we learn more about why we write and the importance of story sharing. Stories make us feel less isolated, allow us to connect with each other and can help us see things from various perspectives. No matter what the genre, I truly believe our writing can change the world for the better if we want it to. I've put off writing and posting my own inspirations because I could write a treatise, and I don't want to take over the Writers for a Cause blog because Writers for a Cause is about everyone--not just me, the founder! LOL!"

That answer alone already fills up a lot of this page, but there is so much more to my personal inspiration, which is as much spiritual as it is emotional, intellectual and even physical.  

Through writing, I synthesize things that don't seem to make a lot of sense when looked at independently.  I often write after I have strange dreams, lots of stress, moments when I feel touched by the blessed hand of God, whom I view as the cosmic giver of creative, positive forces.  Combined with my emotions, challenges, philosophies and unique perspectives, my writing becomes something larger than myself, which is what I want it to be.   

My writing is never just about me.  It's full of universal metaphors and themes.  I would never want anyone to look at my writing as purely biographical, because it isn't.  To some people, it might seem my creative pieces are more mixed up than any thought process could ever be, but to me, poetry, fiction and some prose pack more meaning than any experience.  
For the most part, especially lately, I have learned to write for myself and not potential editors or income (especially not for income).  I realize my readers might not "get it," that they might walk away with false impressions or just shake their heads and ask, "What the hell was THAT all about?"  But I believe if I've made readers think, even just a little, I've accomplished something.  

While my drafts are often pure subconscious barf, in the end, there is a reason I do not delete or change particular elements during the editing process (if I am given the time).  There is a reason I end my stories where I do, choose specific words, decide on character names, allow ideas to merge into their own meanings.  I ask myself all the time, "Why did you put that there?  Why is it important?  What is the significance?"  Sometimes I ask my family, "What did you get from this?"  Sometimes they have no clue, but usually, they understand some of what I was trying to express.  

Sometimes I don't meet my own expectations, especially if I don't have time or copy editors.  I draft, edit, redraft, re-edit.  After a few frustrating tries, if I've not said what I want to, I abandon the piece, knowing what I am trying to say will eventually reveal itself through another piece.  For example, I've got this one poem I've written something like 10 times. I still hate it, so it's sitting on my hard drive, which is where it will stay.

In the end, it's all about self expression, telling truths as I see them, revealing parts of myself and snapshots of the world, hoping after that I've made some kind of positive difference, even if the piece is dark.  Positive differences can come through various channels, not all of them nicey-nicey.  If I offend, I offend, but I don't do it just to be offensive.  There is always a reason, even if my reasons are misunderstood.

And so, I really am out of time now but will continue to think about what motivates me because I believe the motivation is as important as the writing.  And I will think more about inspiration, the stimulus for motivation, which yields a literary product.

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