Craft: Why I Write

I write because I don’t like to tell the truth. When I do, it tends to be harsh, blunt, and often accompanied by sarcasm. It’s tough, and I don’t enjoy it.

Lying, on the other hand, is easy and fun!

And stories are the only place you can express truth by lying. That’s what a metaphor is. Sometimes its the best and only way to tell a certain truth – by coming at it from an angle, with imagination, in order to get anyone to listen.

All good stories entertain, but all great stories tell truths, whether it is truth about love, about human nature, about the world – or about tiny things like choice, death, life, or beauty.

You can say, “love sucks, but is basically worth it.” Or you can write an elaborate lie, making characters that people will connect with and understand, will like, hate, desire, sympathize with… and they’ll get that your story is telling them that love sucks, but is basically worth it – yet you never have to come out and say the words.

The lie has more impact.

I communicate best by making stuff up. I have things I want to say, and instead of becoming essays or reports or lectures, they become stories. I witness things about my world and about myself, and in order to share, I tell stories. Random thoughts occur to me, so I tell stories.

I lie.

Frequently.

It’s what makes me a writer.

What makes you a writer?

4 thoughts on “Craft: Why I Write

  1. The lie has more impact.

    Totally. This is basically the core of my fiction-writing motivation right here. All these things that you could say in truthful, simple terms–but which would just seem abstract and flat–become completely immersive when you bust out The Lie.

  2. What -makes- me a writter is different than -why- I write.

    I write because I have a story to tell.

    I get a peice of information, and I stretch and twist the facts into threads to weave a story with.

    I -started- to write because of morning cartoons

  3. I used to DENY I was a writer–wholeheartedly. I’d filled a dozen journals with ranting but hadn’t produced anything I wanted to share, maybe that’s why I considered myself unworthy. At some point, I’d written enough fiction and slaved over revisions to say, f-it! Yeah, I’m a writer. And now, on my second novel and second baby I cling to the idea like a life-raft. What makes me a writer is the determination to create and complete projects. At lease, that’s one answer.

  4. That is a fabulous answer – I love that you mentioned perseverance. The ability to pick yourself back up and keep going is a must in this field. And you have to do it constantly.

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