There are so many other ways I could occupy my time. I could get a massage, go out with friends or watch a movie. Instead, every free moment of my life is, and always has been, occupied by words. My life is measured in sentences and word count rather than moments.
When anything happens the reality is held up to the light of retelling it whether it be a new recipe I came up with or some thought glistening under the fairy dust of fiction. A strange noise in the house at night launches twenty lurid tails of death and dismemberment while a strange-looking old woman on the beach is surely a magical sea hag that will trade wishes for a gelato.
I’ve tried to quit. I’ve done other jobs, but they always came back to words… recording the experience for someone I don’t know. The act of the reader is an aside to the act of writing. I hope there are readers, but were I alone on this planet I would still be writing. It’s the punctuation that marks my hours. It’s my delicately woven existence, created and colored by syntax and syllable, dependent on words.
Writing is the distilled evidence of time and the definition of humanity. Were it not for words scribbled on parchment there would be no history. The past is nothing without symbols, deceptively simple, carving out reality we can share. Were it not for words, we would be islands of humanity, isolated in ignorance of a universe.
Why do I write? Because no matter what I do, it always comes down to words that bubble up inside me, repeating themselves incessantly until I’m compelled to put fingers on the keyboard, my modern Ouija, and translate. I write because I have to.
Why do you?