Today was a very busy day for me.
I woke up at 7am and worked my morning job till 5pm. Then I got off and rushed home in time to sit at the table and scarf down an amazing meal with my wife and two kids. It actually looked amazing and the smell that filled my nostrils, as I crashed through the front door of my house with work bag in hand, instantly made me salivate. As for taste, I don’t know, I had to literally open my mouth and throat, set the plate inside and run to the restroom to toss some deodorant on, shower myself with aftershave (not to get rid of a smell but blend the nastiness of work with the clean irish scent, and hope for something normal out of it.
Then off to my daughters dance class, which ended in enough time to rush to church at 7pm, so the kids wouldn’t miss out on a prize for bringing their bibles four weeks in a roll. Soon as church is over at 8:30pm, I take the kids home (wife is already at work at the hospital now) give them a bed time snack, read a story, hugs, kisses, prayer, one last glass of water, one last…no two last kisses..9:20pm they are down, I only missed their bed time by 40 minutes. YES!
I take a shower, make a pot of coffee, clean up the left over dinner and kitchen, sit down on the couch and watch the news- ok, who am I kidding, watch the sci-fi channel for 10 minutes to un-wind – whoops, open my eyes, it’s now 2:15am…darn, I fell asleep. And now I’m too tired to get up and right because my alarm will go off in 4 and a half hours, to get me ready for another episode of the same thing, just tweeked a little.
The next day, while I was at work, (in between meetings) a buddy of mine came in, and wanted to see if I could grab lunch with with. I thought about it, and decided that I needed a break from reality, so I went to lunch with him (I figured I would just tell my boss that I fell asleep on the toilet…strange enough who’d make it up, right?)
At lunch, I told my friend about the craziness of my life.
“Why the hell do you write?” he said.
“Wha” I started to say before my diet Pepsi came through my nose and dripped on my shirt.
“Writing” he continued “no way, I’d do it. If you stopped writing do you realize that you’d have time to sleep?”
NOW right here I want to stop. Nothing else matters but the question that got my nostrils stinging:
” Why the hell do you write!”
I know why I write. I write because I am a writer. Because I must. Because I can not fathom the thought of putting down the pen. Because I refuse to stop being a day dreamer. Money, or not money, I will work two jobs to support my family if I must, but I’ll not stop doing what I was born to do.
What about you?
Why do you scratch down your stories, poems, articles on that wrinkled up small pad of paper in your back pocket, or purse. Why do you stay up strange hours pounding the key board?
A few nights ago I had a dream that we were in the distant future, and there were NO writers, no books, just computers to speak literature to us. Nothing new. Can you imagine living in a world without literature? Living in a world were there is no written word.
When I woke up I thought about why ‘the hell’ I do it. I have to tell you the truth: I am scared to death of a world without creativity, without art, without poetry.
All artists are in the business of expressing the beauty of the human mind and the awe and wonder of the planet we live in. And in these times fear, war, injustice, hunger, pain, and terror, there is more a reason for us to stay awake all night, scratching away on our tattered note pads on lunch breaks, sneaking a minute here and there to switch our work computer over to our WIP (work in progress) on Word.
I say the world needs a Creative revolution. A re-birth of creativity. A fresh look at the written word. I say write, write, write until you can not write anymore. Send your scribblings everywhere, to as many people as possible. Let everyone see that the writers are not going to fade away, but we will help forge a future that demands literacy and creativity as a diet for every human.
I sent a collection of sci-fi short stories I wrote, to a friend of mine who runs an orphanage in Thailand, and another to a buddy that leads a missions team in Uganda. They translated them to the kids and watched them listen intensely, (momentarily forgetting their hunger) I sent poetry to friends in the military who are in Iraq, and to a brother on a submarine for the next 8 months. He sent me an e-mail telling me that they have passed through the whole sub.
People want to escape. We offer that ability. We are the guides for time travel, we are the doors to alternate realities. Write, write, write.
Why should you write?
You should write as if you know that you are saving the world.