It's Sunday again, and you know what that means. You get to read what I'm thinking about. What a wonderful opportunity, right? Right.
How narcissistic of me, really. To assume that people would care about what I write down, or think. But assume I must if I intend to keep writing these.
That's one of the secrets about writing though, isn't it? Each of us that chooses to publicly display our stuff believes that we are presenting the world with something that is uniquely valuable.
I'm not saying that this act of self-exposure doesn't come without risk. We're all aware that people may not think the way we do, or even like the way that we think. Not to mention style preferences.
But we think the risk is worth it.
Worth it because, even though it may be a little selfish, that's only a small part of the reason why we write.
I believe we write, in whatever capacity, out of a sense of obligation. The size and nature of this obligation varies from person to person of course, but it is always, invariably, there.
Maybe it's your way of ordering your thoughts, writing that is. An obligation, then, to think clearly.
Or perhaps you feel it's your duty to witness and record. An obligation to see and remember.
And then again, maybe it's an old promise you made to a relative that passed on. An obligation, then, to simply keep your word.
Or maybe, and I think this is the motivator for the larger portion of us, it's the story that drives you. Sort of like a bad cold.
It wakes you at insane hours and keeps you from getting enough sleep. Throughout the day your only goal is to get rid of it, get it out of you. It won't let you breathe properly or eat. Trying to swallow anything only causes you more agony.
And just when you think you've got it licked, it comes back. With a vengeance.
I don't know what drives you to write, and to be quite honest, I really don't care. But do keep writing; it may be the only thing that really matters.
"By and large, the critics and readers gave me an affirmed sense of my identity as a writer. You might know this within yourself, but to have it affirmed by others is of utmost importance. Writing is, after all, a form of communication." —Ralph Ellison
"The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power." —Toni Morrison
"Unless a writer is extremely old when he dies, in which case he has probably become a neglected institution, his death must always be seen as untimely. This is because a real writer is always shifting and changing and searching. The world has many labels for him, of which the most treacherous is the label of Success." —James Baldwin
"If my doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster." —Isaac Asimov
Written and compiled by Benjamin Burton Jr.