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Jul 31

Mischa Eliot

Flash Fiction: The Non-Flash Fiction Post: aka Why I Write

There are so many ways that I can answer the question of why I write. Many of them start with ‘because’.

Because if I didn’t my mind would explode.

There were a few years that the only thing I wrote were a few blog posts now and then. I wasn’t working. Finding a job was difficult. People were difficult. Yet, I didn’t write.  I can’t give you a reason as to why I wasn’t writing. I should have been writing my ass off, to be honest. Unfortunately, that time was wasted and is gone. It’s one regret that I’ll never get back that time. I put it aside the best I can and force myself to write. A blog post. A tweet. A work-related social media post. A scene. Anything. I write as much as I can now. Even if it’s just me being whiny and bitchy and don’t want to whine and bitch to someone’s face, I’ll write.

Because I work a day job that doesn’t pay me enough to entertain myself.

Even if I could afford cable or satellite, I wouldn’t pay for it. There isn’t enough time in the day to watch 500 channels of anything. I have Netflix and I have Hulu Plus. There are occasions I think about cancelling HP, but I don’t because there are shows I do enjoy that I can’t watch due to conflicts with another show. I enjoy binge-watching shows that I have watched over the years and catching the plot points, twists, secret-reveals, and so forth. I will put a tv show on in the background as I write because I like having sound. Sometimes music just doesn’t cut it.

Because I love to read and sometimes I can’t stand what I’m reading.

There are times that I get really excited about a book that has had amazing reviews and people are talking about it and  I’m like.. Okay, I’ll spend my money on it. Then I open the book and before I finish the first chapter I hate everything about the characters. Or the writing is terrible. Or something that was purported as an exciting read is just whiny/bitchy drama-filled nonsense. I get enough nonsense in my day-to-day life. Yes, while books are supposed to be dramatic, I can only take so much Whiiiine (and I’m all out of cheese). I try to fight my way through the book. Sometimes the book wins and changes my mind, other times I just can’t do it and if I still hate it at the halfway point, I give up.

Because the voices in my head won’t shut up.

Pssst. Did you hear that? The voice screaming inside begging you to write this one little thing down? Just one, it won’t hurt to write just one little phrase down. When you give in to the voice a little of that exploding-head feeling diminishes a little. Then you do it again. And again. Even if you aren’t writing to be published, if it’s just to relieve the pressure that is causing you to feel like you might pick up an axe and go all Lizzie Borden, it’s a plus. There are people who run, there are people who meditate, and there are people who write. (People who do all three are overachievers and I think they need to quit showing off.)

Because writing is a way to interpret the world around me.

Hi, I’m a Pisces born on the Cusp of Aries, with Libra Rising and on top of all that I’m an emotional sponge who’s an introvert stuck in CubeLand 6.5 hours a day and covering a reception area the other 1.5 hours. I rely a lot on my gut. (If you watch NCIS, yes, like Gibbs.) I try not to ignore it and every single time I have HELL HAS RAINED DOWN UPON ME. Unfortunately, since I’m just a peon, I tend to have to ignore my gut more often than not during the day. I have walls that I build up each and every morning as I get ready to leave the house and then I try to take them down when I leave so that I can write. With all the things I hear and deal with throughout the day, it’s a wonder we haven’t nuked ourselves already.

I honestly don’t understand complicated people, who have to complicate situations, in order to make themselves feel important. . . especially when they are already (technically) important because of their position or role. Writing is a way for me to give my own interpretation. I can use situations or comments in a story and give it another outcome (for better or for worse).

Because writing is adventurous, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching work and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When you write, you’re showing a different facet of yourself with each character, each setting, each word choice. You’re showing the world ‘this is me, but this is also me, and yeah, that flower I took 500 words to describe because I felt like it even though it’ll probably be cut later, yeah, that’s also me’ and that’s all there is to it.  Every time a character is punched, the writer feels the hit. Every time a character falls in love, their heart is broken when it doesn’t work out. Every single time a character falls down a cliff,  hitting every rock on the way down, and splashes into the ocean to have their arm ripped off by a shark, it’s the author saying ‘this is how I felt about this’ even if what’s written has absolutely nothing to do with the reality of the situation.

Because I can.

I write because I have the ability to put words to paper, or text to screen, or paint to wall. Writing is a way of life just like other creative pursuits. It’s a way to leave your mark on the world. Maybe writing isn’t your thing, but it’s mine. It’s my dream and I own my dream. And yeah, sometimes I struggle putting the words down, but that’s part of the journey. What’s your dream? 

Chuck Wendig posts a Flash Fiction Challenge (every Friday) at terribleminds.com.

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