Why Write: Thoughts on Purpose, Motivation, and Encouragement

I can’t be the only writer out there that questions his/her act of writing. The why? The value? The time? The internal disappointment? The external grief? But most of all, the TOTAL VACUUM.

At this point in my ‘esteemed writing career,’ I am pretty much writing for myself. I have no audience, let alone “fans.” Gee, I wonder what that must be like….

I write everyday except Sunday. I write in the car—while sitting as a passenger or driving. I write standing in line at the (take your pick) store, bank, post office. I write on a tablet hung from my neck while I hike. I write half-asleep in bed in the dark at 3:00 AM—when my subconscious wakes me up with yet another “Hey, here’s something to write about.” I know if I don’t grab my tablet right then and there I will never remember this great thought in the morning.

John McEnroe playing emotional and entertaining tennis.

Note: What was my last “great idea” that interrupted my slumber? Two nights ago I woke up thinking that JOHN McENROE was the ORIGINAL REALITY TV STAR. To me he was more than a sports figure. He was theatre on the court. His intense personality made it more than just watching a tennis match. His temper tantrums were pure entertainment—both gutsy and cringe-worthy. His 1981 famous line berating a linesman’s call: “You can NOT be serious!!!” killed me then and still kills me now. (Good blog material!)

Then last night I woke up thinking about the interview I heard yesterday on Fresh Air: Joan Rivers telling Terry Gross that her mother told her that in a relationship, the man should always be more ga-ga over the woman than she is for him. My sister told me the exact same thing when I was in my early twenties. My mother is not Jewish nor did she ever give us any words of relationship advice growing up other than, “Don’t get pregnant.” I wonder where my sister (also early twenties) gleaned this information? (Perhaps a blog there?)

Back to the writing…

Writing is a solitary effort. For me the rewards are solitary. I persist because I can’t NOT write. When I miss a blog posting, I get a stomachache. (That has to be a psychological problem!) I think my blogs are cool (for the most part). I think my fiction is dandy. But no one knows but me. Oh well, maybe one day….

Then today I opened an email from Hugh MacLeod of http://www.GapingVoid.com and it gave me such a MORALE BOOST I HAD TO BLOG about it. Here’s the cartoon:

Another Hugh MacLeod cartoon masterpiece!

The text that explained the drawing was fantastic. He talked about branding yourself as a spiritual exercise.  He said it is “your soul that informs the brand.” Whoa. I started this blog to brand myself as a writer with a unique voice— (BTW every writer has his/her own unique voice.)—and if people liked it, then maybe they would buy my books.

I write to make a dent, for sure. As Hugh said:

“It’s not about merit. It’s about faith. Belief. Conviction. Courage. It’s why you’re on this planet. To make a dent in the universe.”

That gives me chills. Hugh sparks my enthusiasm to keep on keepin’ on. I swear we’re on the same wavelength. I wrote about my love and devotion to Hugh in another blog on 5/04/10.

In this blog I mentioned hosting a dinner party with Hugh as a guest. Ever since I wrote that, I have pondered whom else to invite to sit at our end of the table (of 12)—to keep things lively and interesting. I have made my selection.

The five of us: me, Hugh, Tony Hsieh (Zappos.com), Tim Lincecum (S.F. Giants) and Paula Poundstone. Whaddya think? I think I better get busy on my kick-a career so I can pull this off. WRITE ON!

To Hugh: I look forward to Evil Plans. Thanks for the email cartoons and words. One day I will buy dozens of your drawings!

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