Why do we write?
Different writers speak of different methods, moods, techniques, inspirations.
I am one of those writers who can make himself write any time. I’ve never had writer’s block, at least not as an adult. I claimed to have writer’s block as a teenager, but it was just an excuse for sleeping late.
Almost all of my writing is autobiographical. In some ways, that makes me narcissistic and in some ways it makes me introspective. I’m probably both.
Much of my fiction follows the same narrative: girlfriend and/or ex-girlfriend + naive affection + morose postmortem = fabulously self-absorbed fiction that no one really wants to read.
Too bad, readers. As long as I can craft a decently descriptive sentence, I’ll keep writing, although one significant source of material, lost love, is now a dry well, since I have found love and intend to keep it.
Of course, there was my first attempt at a “book.” I got so much encouragement about my journal that the idea was that I was going to make my 11th grade entries into a book. Yes, of course it was lame, but I kept hearing the words, “you ought to write a book,” so I tried.
Then there were the writing groups; 1980, Michael and me; 1992, Melissa, Frank, Pam and me; 2000, JoEllen, Audry, Merida, Paul, Shana and me. I didn’t write more when I was in writing groups, but I did write different stuff. It was oddly competitive for me, and I sensed I wasn’t the only one. Maybe writers are naturally competitive.
My poetry stinks. Every poem I ever wrote might as well have been written by a tenth grade girl.
Then, there are the journals. If I couldn’t pen decent fiction or poetry, at least I could document my life. And that, my friends, I did, and do, quite well. The trick to it being good, I think, is blunt honesty combined with a willingness to be vulnerable. My journals are an exercise in exposing how ridiculous I am, and they are great. By extension, this blog, the Giant Muh, is concretely, demonstrably great. As evidence, I cite its colossal lack of popularity, since popularity usually equals mediocrity.
I recently photographed a meeting at Ada Writers, a club in town that meets twice monthly and publishes local anthologies like Creations 2014, and I asked them how I could get published in it. The conversation led to what kinds of things I write, which brought me back to my only answer, “autobiographical.” I might as well have just said, “masturbation.”