September 15, 2013

Why is writing important?

Dear M,

I have been asking myself this question over and over again. Why is writing important? Why do we kill ourselves over it? I can understand people writing for money, but when money is not the immediate requirement or the reason we write, what do we seek, and why do we get frustrated when we do not receive what we seek?

Let me rephrase that. Why do I send my writings to all publishers and agents and hope for a positive response from any of them, like a letter asking for the complete manuscript or even a contract? Why do I keep track of all rejections? Why am I not satisfied with the encouraging words I receive on my personal blog or other places that I write on? Why are we, the entire human race, not satisfied in general with what we get?

I have absolutely no clue. I just know that I am frustrated. Granted that I have a couple of eBooks up on Amazon. They aren't ground-breaking or record-breaking or breaking anything if you know what I mean. They're just there, because I wanted them to be up there.

I know my writing is good. I know it for many reasons. But somehow the fact that my writing is good isn't enough to satisfy me. I wish I could be content with the comments or likes on my articles and stories and poems. Why do I look for a professional acceptance? Why do I look for my work to be compiled into a book?

I guess I don't want to be an average writer. I want to be good, and better than good. Great. This desire is terrifying. It is draining. It is frustrating. I am afraid of it. I am afraid of what that desire is turning me into, of what it is making me do.

Why do we want to be exceptional writers? Why is no one content to remain an average writer or be satisfied with our scribblings in our secret diary?

It is because we want our writing to make a difference. We want our writing to remain, to survive us. To be alive long after we are gone.

Each rejection, though it is sometimes called a stepping stone, is also something that shoves us in our chest. It makes us take a step backward. It tells us menacingly with an evil snarl, 'You aren't going to be great. You aren't even good.' It takes more than what we have in us to not be taken in by those words. Why do we take these hits and keep moving forward? Why do we fall down and pick ourselves up and wipe our tears and rub our bruises and crawl on again?

Because we are fighters, because we are persistent, because we want to win. Because everyone who gets to the finishing line wins.


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