Why do we write? Because we HAVE to. There is no way around it. Sometimes we wish there were. It is almost like a curse we were born with. Sometimes–in those beautiful moments–it is a blessing.
There is a school of thought in psychology called behaviorism. The Behaviorists believe that through various stages of reward, certain behaviors are further entrenched into our psyche; variant rewards being stronger than expected rewards. The more unpredictable the reward, the more the behavior is strengthened. This has also been shown in gambling and certain other behaviors.
It may sound like I’m comparing writing to an addiction. I didn’t set out to do that, but in a way-isn’t it? Do we think about it every second of the day and night? Do we wonder when our next session will be? Do we hold onto the beautiful moments as we get through the tough times? Do we get shaky when we don’t write? Yes. Yes, yes and yes!
There is a great piece the author Jamie Grove wrote at How Not To Write which ties together writing on writing from the great Joseph Conrad called “A Writer Must Believe.”
It is true that each writer struggles in their own way to find their craft. We pick up bits and pieces from those who have come before us or we slavishly imitate those we admire. We struggle to find the meaning and the belief that is so apparent in the books we hold dear.
After all, there they are!
Books bound in paper or cloth, leather or electrons. Their very physical presence in the world demonstrates the indisputable belief of one mind forging a story, striving for connection with another person through the craft of writing.
Writing is a lonely business, but we must believe in our abilities as writers. We must believe, when all seems disjointed and out of reach, that we alone can reclaim the broken chains, link by link, and piece them back together. And we must believe that in the end, those chains will loop through our subplots, our characters, arc over our main plots and turn the wheels of our themes into a beautiful narrative that we have dreamed of creating since before we can remember.
We may at times feel lonely, but we are not alone. We all work together for something greater than ourselves; and that act is the unwritten symphony of a million keys working together to make the great symphony of our craft that will reach to and touch that one soul, sitting alone, reading our words and connecting to each one who has read it before and then after and through a great arc…back to us.
Keep Calm and Type On!
This article Why We Must Believe first appeared on The Point of the Quill.
A note on sharing: Sadly, having tried another theme, I lost all of the great support seen in the number of shares for my posts. Sharing is greatly appreciated, as always, but if you are able to share further it would help immensely. My very best to you!