As promised, after writing a couple of posts in January to answer the questions “Why (on earth) do I Write?” and “Why do I Care if Anyone Reads the Words I’ve Written?” I’ve invited some other writers to join me on my blog to discuss these topics. Today I’m welcoming guest blogger Joe Martelle to share his thoughts.
Joe Martelle has written two books, Theology of Fear and Friday’s Child. He has written numerous articles for the United Church Observer as well as several other magazines throughout North America. Currently he is working on a third novel and writing weekly articles and a column for an Eastern Ontario Newspaper group. More detailed descriptions of his writing style are available at www.joemartelle.com
Why do I Write?
by Joe Martelle
The answer is in the question.
Why do I write? With a gazillion collections of written words already floating around the planet, where do I get off thinking someone needs to read mine? What would possess anyone with even a mustard seed of intelligence towards challenging such improbable odds?
Is it the money? I’d doubt many of us would be getting rich when you consider the number of hours devoted to writing and rewriting and editing and rewriting again. Calculated down to how much we eventually earn per hour…well I’d wager that making sneakers in some third world country would equate to a massive raise in pay for most of us.
The recognition? It is a great feeling walking down the street and being told someone enjoyed your column or receiving that email from a faceless stranger on the other side of the keyboard telling you they enjoyed your book, but could enough recognition ever sedate that urge to write?
Maybe we can find the answer to why we write by asking what it would take to make us quit writing? Fame and fortune achieved, how many of us would turn off the laptops and toss out the pens? How many retired writers do you know? Not many?
Maybe it’s not a choice. Maybe we write for the same reason the birds migrate south in the winter and the wolf hunts…because it’s hardwired into our DNA. Perhaps nature, or fate, or God, or whatever higher power you subscribe to (mine is God btw), didn’t leave us any other option.
You don’t meet many vegetarian wolves. Maybe it’s like that for writers. We have those times when the story inside of us is so strong, creating an urge so desperate that nothing else matters but finding the words needed to calm the hunger.
Perhaps we are merely nature’s hunters of word?
Thanks for coming by Joe, and sharing your thoughts.
Press on, my friends. Press on,