"Keep working on a plan. Make no little plans. Make the biggest you can think of, and spend the rest of your life carrying it out." Harry S. Truman

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why do we write?

One of my critique partners asked us a question, this week. "If you were stranded on a deserted island, with no hopes of a reader, would you still write?"

The four of us gave the same answer : YES, because we love to read our own words, over and over again. One of us even reminded us of that woman in The Importance of Being Earnest who says that she always brings her diary on the train, so if she gets bored, she'll have something "sensational" to read. I suppose it is crucial for writers to be able to read their own words endlessly - I didn't say to fall in love with our own words, because that is definitely not recommended - or none of us could ever revise, and what is writing, if not endlessly revising?

For me, writing is also the best way I know of sorting out my thoughts and feelings. Whether it comes out - subconsciously or not - in a fiction format, or as confidences in letters to a friend, writing helps me sort out the clutter, up and in there. It always has.

How about the other writers who read this, out there? Would you still write, even if you were stranted on a deserted island, with no hopes of anyone ever reading your words?


José said...

bien sur... après tout, je suis mon premier... et seul lecteur ;-))

Jo Ann v. said...

Writing is part of me, my identity. I write mostly for myself, to read what I want to read and nobody writes about it. There are so many stories about people who never travel, who never lived away and are great, and I am sure there could be stories about globetrotters like ourselves and it could be as great. I feel so frustrated because I don't really have this kind of fiction.

And it's a great way to put my spirits together. I think poetry is a way for me to tell my feelings "avec pudeur" because I am not good on saying them. Poetry and letters instead of arguing is the best. You take the time to write them, to think about it, and maybe at the end, you are not that mad anymore...

As I said, I first write for myself, and then, if I have readers, it's the cerise sur le gâteau :-)