25 February 2012

Why Do You Write?

I get this question a lot and I know you do as well. People want to know why I write and when I started. Why does a Computer Programmer spend as much of her time as she can, away from work, writing fiction and updating a themed blog about making progress?

There is this one thing in life that I experienced that I never thought I would be able to share with anyone much less the world. But it’s at the root of the answer to this question.

Many years ago, I was hospitalized for a week, diagnosed with Paranoid Psychosis. This was triggered by stress brought on by my repressive personality, which led to an extreme case of insomnia. Sounds like a lot, but it was a simple turn of events.

Let me tell you this; there are many things to observe in a mental ward of a hospital. One of which was the fact I didn't belong there. It's funny to me now because people say the craziest in the world think everyone else is crazy. Seriously, everyone belonged in there with the exception of me.

Forget that only three hours prior to being admitted I was having a delusional conversation with my pet rabbit about a conspiracy to end my life, the main conspirators being my husband and two children, ages nine and four. 

As the medication and sleep brought my thoughts back into balance, I realized (still) how many fruitcakes there were in that hospital. Knowing I was involuntarily admitted to spend my time in the company of these emotional lunatics was embarrassing. Though not a fruitcake then and still today, very mentally stable, I do have a minor case of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

It’s not an affliction that keeps me from functioning properly. Though, it keeps my mind constantly cluttered with images and thoughts that I don't want to think about but can't avoid, like what it would sound like cracking a skull with a brick or popping someone’s eyeball. Is it liquid inside? Would there be a noise? I’m too lazy to do the research, so I just think about it.

I think the reason I have thoughts about things like that is because I might want to write a story and those things might happen in my story. In fiction writing, we’re taught to use sensory description; show the reader the horror of your scene, don’t just tell them about it. You want them to experience it, so therefore, it must be convincing.

What does it feel like to choke someone? Do your eyes burn if blood splatters into them? By the way, the answer to that one is NO. I got that from my sister who was in a car accident. Blood dripped down her forehead and into her eyes. She did say I was accurate in that it makes everything look red. Sorry for the digression.

So when I write, it's almost like I can express these things that are in my mind and when it's out there I'm no longer responsible for thinking them because I've shared it now, through whatever outlet. I think that for me fiction writing or creative writing is like a validation of some sort. It’s a way for me to say that it's okay that I thought those things. It's like casting out demons at an exorcism.

After reading about individuality and voice in my last class, I thought about the things in myself that might contribute to my writings in a unique way (afflictions). I’ve sort of gotten used to sharing even the not so flowery parts of my life and who I am and those things I think about no matter how sordid. I feel like I can write about anything, with a great deal of honesty and without inhibition.

So tell me why you write and where it all started for you. Leave a brief comment if you like. But, if you decide to write a longer piece on your own blog/site, I’m providing this form so you can link your post here and we can make it a blog hop! Thanks for sharing.

Here's the code to insert participants on your blog (I couldn't figure out how to place it in here as text).

Contact Diane


Email *

Message *