Do Writers Actually Live?

I wrote this bit below a little more than 4 years ago, so please excuse the bitterness. Even though nowadays, I feel like writing and actually finishing something isn’t as much of a mystery, I wanted to share this. It embodies the basic questions I still have as a writer, that I am sure I will continue to return to in this blog.

I often just wonder why write? Why read? Maybe sharing this with all of you and hearing some responses will help me find an answer.

I wonder if writers actually live. The writing trade is isolating. The thinking and imagining, the synthesizing; all are time-consuming measures that require people to remove themselves from the real world.

It would make sense for a writer to be an avid reader too–though it seems reading does take time away from writing. But a writer should read, for why else would we want to create if we do not want to contribute to the vast world of books we enjoy?

The vast world of books, such a daunting idea. It seems pointless to make any addition to it. In the twenty-first century, what could I accomplish? Another novel placed on store shelves, another book for readers like me to sift through, trying to decide impossibly on another one. It is such a burden to choose. I hardly desire to receive the title of an “aspiring writer”—the wretch takes to writing! To be an “Aspiring Writer” is such a certain prospect and I am so unsure. I feel guilty to already be thinking of publishing. I blame my time-period for such premature expectations

I am a product of the age of information, undergoing a childhood of instant response and gratification. I feel at a disadvantage in comparison to my classic predecessors. It is hard work to write. The few times I sit down to write fiction on my own, the slightest loss of a noun, trouble with description, or horrid sense of overwriting and cliché prompts an insecurity within me that sets a gloom upon my belief in my own work. Thus, I hardly write.

However, I can never evade my wish to write. It began early in my life. And every time I read, even a textbook for a class, my aspirations of writing my own texts surge. Does that have significance, or does everyone feel that inner-pull?

Although I feel this instinctive tugging from my insides toward creating fiction pieces, I find myself annotating my feelings about writing rather than really doing it. I may leave stories without denouement, but my personal writings on the craft are always resolute. Or rather, they are not resolute, but I do not feel such anxiety when writing on writing. I feel like I can finish. I like noting my ideas, aspirations, and conclusions concerning writing. I figure other writers can do so as well. That is probably why there are so many essays and books on the craft of writing.

It seems a vicious circle. Writers most surely think about writing daily, formulating a continuous story kept safe in their minds. If the general writer experience is similar to mine, others probably find themselves searching for the time to write, a time that can temporarily sever them from normal life—or is it considered a part of normal life once you dub yourself “writer”? Furthermore, like me, they must feel compelled to read.

The regular thought of story, the continual search for a chance to write, and the recurring quest to read writing by others, leads all writers to at least one commonality—life constantly immersed in story.

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