Why Writers Write
This entry should be taken somewhat lightly, as I am speaking only for myself drawn from my own perspective; semi-hard earned. Writers, each of us, have something we are sensitive about, and so I wouldn't dare presume what another thinks or feels. All I can provide is a generalization of what I assume we all share concerning the art of sentence creation and the meanings within.
With the tragedy in Haiti unfolding in front of our faces via flashing screen or buzzing radio, I began to equate what place a writer has on this delicate place called earth. Some are relayers of information, and so would be the most important at the moment. Many are in the coals of the fire as we speak, uncovering horrific tales for us at home to process and respond to. This kind of writer would be the most important, as human should always know the suffering of other human. I see it as a call for compassion, and growth, but most of all, urgency; a child--any human, but especially children--should never be in pain or despair. If we record the events and find solutions, the child's pain will be fixed and life brought back into balance.
Other writers fill the need of protector and preserver of history. We need them, so that all the lessons of life will not be repeated without fair warning; centuries of man walking faithfully into its own folly, happy, blind, and with laughter toward result. Yes, we know it happened before, many times, and, like a roulette wheel, had various finales, yet the mean result tells us to beware. Man will never listen, but the warning was issued and held up with flashing lights. See? I wrote it down for you, embalmed like a brandy spiced raisin in a fruitcake. But you did it anyway. Fool. Human.
Then you have the other family of writers: the flailing shipwrecked crew that dream of becoming published authors. We create, we dream, we provide new life in the sorrow-filled reality of everyday existence. But why do we do it? The minute we've created something, we must spend the rest of eternity finding it a home. For most of us there is no money and no real fame beyond that of our local circle of supporters--if that. Many of us are rejected by the agents and the publishers, and are watching, like a child outside a candy store, others who were blessed enough to write well and create ingeniously. People trunk, people self-publish, people give up. So why? Why?
Well, with events going on such as the devastation in Haiti, it is a good time to remember exactly why. Because we are gifted, special people who can ease the pain of another person's suffering. This is why. Without promise of monetary gain or anything that comes along with that, we should write just because the world needs invention to lead it out of its despair. It needs ridiculous, unabashed fantasy based on reality, so that the real becomes infused with a little light called hope.
Whenever you sit down to write, or are thinking of doing it, remember there doesn't have to be a prize at the end. There only has to be joy in what you are doing. And that joy becomes another person's joy. The world needs you now more than ever. So, write.