domingo, 3 de fevereiro de 2008

Being a writer

A few months back, someone at one of the fora I go to regularly asked the question "Why do you write?". The answers were many and varied, and generally quite long too. All I could come up with was:

I write because not writing simply isn't an option.

Today I was again made aware of how true this is, of how much writing is ingrained into me.

I was watching some documentary on Borneo. The usual: elephants, monkeys and apes, bugs aplenty. And there was also a group of people climbing a plateau in the middle of the jungle to study the unique ecosystem at the top.

The leader was going on about how they had to be careful about loose rocks, not only because they risked losing their balance, but mostly because of the danger of making one of those rocks fall on the head of the people coming behind. My immediate thought was: if you were a climber, and there was someone in the group whom you didn't like, that would be a good way of doing away with them and making it look like an accident.

I was reminded of the old joke about the woman whose husband ran away with the maid and her first reaction was turning it into a story. Not writing is not an option, see.

I'm always writing. Even when I'm not actually sitting down at the computer, or with a notebook and pen, I'm still writing, because putting the words on paper is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, basically, when you're a writer, there are no off hours. The writing is in every thing, it's always there, even if you're not aware of it. It's a rather strange symbiosis in a way: the writing takes over your life and gives you 1000 lives in return. Certainly a good deal.

The dowside? If you're not writing, you hardly feel alive at all.

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