I don’t know if I’m cut out for this writing gig. Writing is a solitary activity, and I may be an introvert, but I don’t like to be alone. I want to do things together. You can’t write “together.” Also, I have the attention span of a gnat. My mind doesn’t wander, it hitchhikes all over the world when it should be staying put and focusing like a laser.
The only thing I have in common with real writers is I love to drink a big cup of tea while I’m writing. That’s a writing thing, right? I guess if I were Hemingway, it would be bourbon.
And yet, here it is, 9:30 AM on the Saturday before Christmas. I’m on my third cup of tea. I haven’t done any shopping, there’s a mountain of laundry lurking in the laundry room, I need to take the dog for a walk, and a thousand other obligations are nipping at my conscience. But all I can do is sit here and write. What is this strange obsession to share the inner workings of my mind?
Like all good Southerners, my parents were storytellers, so from a young age, I was steeped in the art of telling a story. Storytelling is an art, and the best storytellers are fine artists.
My parents were also funny, and I learned very young how gratifying it is to make people laugh. As Jon Acuff wrote just today, “Delight people.” I love to delight people. All day long, we are assaulted by conflict and outrage, and I just want to tell everyone, “Here, come sit next to me and let me tell you a story that will make you laugh, or at least chuckle a little. Calm down for a few moments and let your heart relax.” We can drink tea, too.
I make a lot of mistakes, and I repeat a lot of the same mistakes. After I accidentally shaved Joe’s head, I told him, “I wish I could say this was the first time I did this to somebody, but it’s not.” Life is just not long enough for me to make every single mistake I could make, let alone repeat them. I figure I may as well make my mistakes count for something, and as Bob Goff says, “Mistakes make the best stories.”
So here I sit, trying to spin a little tale. I don’t even like the actual “writing” part that much. I would rather just sit here and tell you a story while we share a pot of tea, but you’re not here. I’m like a birdwatcher without a notebook or binoculars, who just wants to look at birds. I just want to tell stories. So I write.
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. Ernest Hemingway
If you’re a writer, what motivates you to write? Please share in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!
PS: For my writer friends whose blogs I comment on, I am in Spam prison, can you take a moment to check your comment queue for any comments I have made on your blog and release me? Thank you!