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Why Write?

::Part of the WRITING SERIES::

I was applying for an interview for Penguin earlier this year as part of an intern program I was trying to score. Somehow, I found time in my schedule to squeeze this one thing in, but when it came to following up and figuring out where I stood, obviously, I didn't do that. I didn't get the internship and I had to sit through a summer of complete and utter boredom.

As I was shifting things through my computer (something I do on occasion when I try to avoid writing) I saw my cover letter, resume, and a little essay that was involved with it.

The essay was basically why we like to do what we do and so on. I don't want to mention what I said because obviously I wrote it in some delusional exhaustion at three in the morning, most likely on my flight to D.C., and then I started to think about that. Why do I do what I like? Well, the obvious answer is that I like it. I mean, since the beginning of time mankind has been hardwired to like pleasure and avoid pain. If I like something, I like it because it gives me pleasure.

Yet, when I think about writing, I don't think pleasure. I think, headache-stomachache-temper-tantrum-crying-hair pulling-crying-screaming-crying-frustration-anxiety-and did I mention crying? I still do it though. I still think about my characters. Whenever I'm brave enough to speak to someone about my work I speak of my characters as if they were real. Whenever something goes absolutely right in my work, I get excited and want to keep doing it.

But, why do I write? I think the basic reason is that, if given a choice, I wouldn't be able to not write. Yeah, I do it sparingly and whenever I can squeeze in five minutes of writing or planning, but I still do it. I can do a million things, some of them are watching online TV which is my favorite pass time, so obviously I like it and I do despite all that I have listed above.

I think, when it comes right down to it, writing does something for me. I grew up with a pessimistic point of view. I hardly ever ever saw the good in things. I think a part of that was my depression, but also because I figured it was easy to go from black and white, one extreme to another. Shades of grey made everything muddy and confusing and just felt like too much work to look through.

When I got to college, I realized that my way of living was no life at all. I was never living, I was existing, so when I got to college I realized that I wanted to live my life as if I was actually living. So far, I have the absolutely best time of my life in college, and the worst time. I mean, we all have to be equal here, right?

I also started to realize that I could look at the world with a silver lining. I can see the positive in things, but that does not mean I am naive. As Walt Disney always said,

"I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter."

I saw the good, but never forgot about the bad. I take the bad and I throw it into my writing.

I came into a world of iron...to make into a world of gold. Dale Wasserman.

That's why I write. I create a world where I can through my negative energy.

So, Why Do You Write?

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