“Why Do You Write?” he asked, one dark and stormy night.

OK, this sounds completely boring and self-important, but it is really kind of a tough question.

At the risk of becoming even more internet repellant – sonetimes I feel like I am RAID! for followers – here goes. Please weigh in, or whey in (feeling cheesy?) or shoot over a scathing one-liner or an interesting comment. Or if you are intrinsically repellant like me, just do whatever it is we would do instinctually and hope that it is opposite day.

A fellow writer asked on twitter,

“Why do you write ? For money , or for a release ?”

I am of course tempted, repeller that I am, to jump in with a juvenile comment of the “That’s what Phlegyas said,” type, but I will restrain myself.

SIDEBAR: If you DID NOT have to Google ‘Phlegyas’, then please send in a pithy comment. You could definitely offset some of my native repellency. A pronunciation guide would serve to validate your braininess.
If on the other hand, you immediately thought of Steve Carell saying, “That’s what SHE said,” in a ten-year old episode of The Office, then, welcome, fellow repeller; meine abstoßenshaft.
SIDEBAR P.S. – writing things in German that you obviously just translated online to make it seem like you actually speak another language is classic repellency. 

If – like me – you thought, “Define release,” then please read on. I actually responded in a kind of mildly non-repellant way. I base this on the reply from the OP (which stands for Objectionable Person in the Internet Repellency club, of which I am the President. And Past President.) I answered the OP (onomatopoeia producer? I know OP stands for something relevant and internetty, but I can’t think of it.) by saying that, “release is closer, but misses”.

Pretty good, eh?

He replies, “What hits the nail?”. Also good.

So what is it? What is the answer that Orion’s Pantleg seeks?

Here is my half-serious, not trying to be funny rather than being gutty and layng it out there, slightly non-abstoßen response:

For me, it’s a kind of compulsion; almost involuntary.

It is analogous to splinters, for those of you who – like me – get a lot of splinters (slivers: wood or metal) in your hands. If you can’t get the splinter out right away, it sits in there for a while until a little pus cocoon develops around the splinter and then, one evening, while you are re-reading Inferno by a roaring fire (naturlich), your body just EXPELS the splinter.

Bloop. A little wet spot shows up on your hand and there is the splinter: wet and shrunken and looking way less fearsome than when it shoved its intrusive way in there.

The point is, once the sliver (let’s call that THE IDEA) enters the skin (THE CREATIVE MIND) it must be dislodged (WRITTEN) by the pus (THE STORY).

In my experience, this is true for gardening, writing, art, innovation, marriage, child-rearing and sometimes, survival.

Also blogs.

allfornow – m

 

Copyright Mitchell Toews ©2016

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