Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: November 2020

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means! Let's kick off another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group. Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has assembled another great group of co-hosts: Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, Tyrean Martinson, Rachna Chhabria, and me!

Be sure to check out the IWSG website for great writing resources!

The optional question for this month is: Albert Camus once said, "The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself." Flannery O'Connor said, "I write to discover what I know." Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

That is an excellent question, and I love these quotes. I don't know if I feel competent to keep civilization from destroying itself (there's a lot of pressure there in that statement), but I can certainly relate to what Flannery O'Connor is saying here. Writing can certainly be a process of self-discovery. I use it as such all the time.

However, in seeking to answer this question for myself, I can't help but think of how I first started writing. I made my first attempt at writing a novel when I was six years old. It was awful, I think that goes without saying, but I was eager to put words on the page.

My parents were avid readers when I was growing up, and I emulated that. I also lived out in the country, and though I had half-siblings, I spent most of my childhood as the only child in the house. At least I had a gigantic backyard to keep me entertained. I used to stalk about the yard, weaving around trees and pretending I was on a grand adventure. 

The moment I started learning how to write, I began to translate those imaginary adventures onto the page. Maybe it was the fact that I'd already fallen in love with reading. Perhaps I did it to keep myself entertained. Mostly likely, it was a combination of the two, and I've been writing ever since. I grew up as a writer.

So why do I write?

I write to be who I am.

That's my declaration. I wouldn't be me without writing. It's been such a formative part of my life that I can't see myself without it.

Why do you write?