One of the pieces of blogging ettiquette I’ve always been fuzzy on is how one best answers another blogger’s question. Generally a comment on his blog is the best thing, I think. The worst kind is a comment that says “as I say in my book, now on sale, I think….” and then links to the Amazon sell-through page. Blogs are not Johnny Carson’s couch.
Somewhere in between is answering the question on your own blog. Because you ARE acknowledging that you are reading the other person and that they have engaged your mind. But you are not paying them the compliment of keeping the conversation in their bailiwick. Thank heavens for the pingback/trackback. Those make me feel far less guilty. Although it does mean that people are pulled off the original site.
Then again, my answers can get very wordy. What is tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) on a comment space is not always so bad as a blog entry. And that’s usually when I resort to moving my response back here to the Farce.
Cathartic? The therapy of getting your mind’s meanderings at arm’s length for better examination? Story haunting you like some poltergeist demanding exorcism? The challenge of writing a novel was on your “To Do” list? A burning sense of calling? Disgust/disillusionment at current crop of type x fiction? … Dreams of fame, fortune and movie deals?
I’ve heard every one of those reasons at blogger meet-ups and writer’s workshops. I’ve read them online and every now and then one of those reasons will cling like a lamprey to the underside of my primary reason and assert itself.
But for me the main reason I write is because I can’t not write. Even before I “wrote” I told stories to myself, standing alone for hours on end holding a stick and making my parents wonder what I was up to. Even now when I don’t put the letters down on paper or into the screen I am shaping stories in my head, dancing with words. I write the way other people eat, I stash pieces of story in my mind the way a drunkard hides bottles about the house.
I have friends who run, and when they talk of running I see the need in their eyes. They have to get out there to feel their feet on the pavement and juke the endorphins. I used to run in college and remember how unright I would feel until I strapped on the Discman and hit the dorm stairs for punishing ups and downs. It’s like that with me and writing. And even though I haven’t finished a book worth selling it’s like those runners who don’t ever do marathons, but only stay on the morning route.
I write because my mind craves it. Because my fingers itch without it. At night I wake up often to find that I’ve been typing my dreams in my sleep.
I write because I am a writer.