Monday, 3 May 2010

Why I Write

Hello reader - I was going to tell you about getting terrible blisters on my feet, walking home barefoot, and then getting carried up a hill by a rabble of drunken women. But I'm not going to, in fact, I just did. Instead I'm going to tell you why I write. Thinking back to a friend of mine who got up on stage in the SU bar to a room full of people to bear her soul by reciting her piece 'Why I Write' inspired me to not only ask myself that very question, but to try and answer it too. And what better a way to do so, if you would mind lending me your ear, I'm going to gnaw it off for the next few minutes. So. Why do I write? Why do I write my blog? Why do I write fiction? Why do I write articles and reviews? Well...

Everything I write seems premeditated in some way, the long walk to University, waiting somewhere for a friend, or a bus ride to visit a relative, all leave a vast ammount of space for thinking, and writing. I may not have a pen to hand but I'm writing inside my head, in fact, I wrote what I'm telling you now yesterday on the bus. The cogs and tiny spongey mechanisms encased within my skull have an inner working, something I cannot control. They thrive upon the English language, new words excite them and bad grammar infuriate them.

But why bother indulging myself with what you could say is, in the long run, inevitably pointless? Do I hope to make money from it? The simple answer is yes, yes I do. I would love to make money from writing, but that's not why I do it. The thought that somebody may stumble upon a piece of my writing, read it, and enjoy it is like devouring a bar of chocolate to me. The knowledge that I know a piece of my writing might make somebody laugh, cry or simply think "Oh that was interesting" fills me with an ecstasy that is somewhat uncontrolable.

It's nice to hear that friends enjoy my work, but the greatest pleasure is when a stranger reads your work, and then tells you they enjoyed it.

Some time back I had a facebook message, I opened it to find it was from somebody I had never heard of. They were appraising my piece of work in 'What We Wrote', it was a delight to hear. At first I thought that perhaps she was a friend of a friend or some distant relative. Turned out there was no connection, just a girl from Kent. I was extremely pleased to get the message, that may sound pathetic perhaps, but that's just me.

The most tragic of things that can happen is the loss of work, I have been halfway through writing something on my laptop before when it has decided to crash, it's a heartbreaking feeling. You can write it again but it never seems to be the same. Devastation hit me in the early months of this year when my harddrive decided to play the incredibly fun game of, let's make the screen bright blue instead of turning on. In a panicked trauma I paid PC world the hefty sum of £100 to restore all my writing. Hard on the pocket, but I'm glad I got it back - Phew!

One of the greatest pleasures I have endured this past year was a close friend of mine reading one of my short stories, I looked over to her and she had tears running down her cheeks. I asked her what was wrong and she simply replied. "It's just so sad". Is it terrible I'm happy I made my friend cry? Quite possibly.

The sense of ambition I have for writing is... well... to use an overly used cliché I have ambition on tap. I am Anne Hathaway in 'The Devil Wears Prada', I am Reese Witherspoon in 'Legally Blonde', I am Will Smith in 'The Pursuit of Hapiness'. I know what I want, well, for the most part, and I'll do it whatever it takes to get it.

As I write this I am growing overly concerned that it's not an interesting read, so I'm going to shut up now.

I usually end on a humorous comment of some sort but I'm fresh out of those... so.. I'll tell you a joke.

A lawyer and a blonde are sat side by side at the bar. The blonde has had one too many to drink and is falling asleep on the bar. The lawyer turns to her and says "Would you like to play a game?". The blonde looks at him puzzled and declines. The lawyer smiles and orders another drink. After he finishes his drink he turns to her again and says "I've got nothing to do tonight. Are you sure you don't want to play a game?". The blonde rolls her eyes and asks what the game is.
"It's simple. I ask you a question, if you don't know the answer I give you £5. Then you ask me a question and if I don't know the answer I give you £5." The blonde, although heavily drunk, knows better than to play such a game with a lawyer and kindly declines again. The lawyer orders another drink, drinks it, and then again asks the blonde if she would like to play a game. "Are you sure you don't want to play. What if I have to pay £50 and you have to pay only £5?". The blonde decides she will give it a go. She agrees. The lawyer thinks for a moment and then snaps his fingers. "Okay I have one. How many metres in a furlong?" The blonde rolls her eyes, opens her purse and hands the lawyer £5. She thinks about her question for a moment and then asks. "What has three hands in the morning, one hand at midday, and two hands at midnight" The lawyer thinks for a moment then takes out his laptop and begins searching for the answer. The blonde falls asleep. She is awoken an hour later by the lawyer. He hands her £50. She takes it happily. "So." the lawyer says frustrated. "What is the answer?" the blonde looks at him for a moment, takes £5 out of her purse, hands it to him, and falls back to sleep.

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