Sorry for the late start with the Jump Start post, but we’re expecting a big snowstorm today (what’s new???), so I decided to jump start my day and run some errands before Snow Miser unleashed his wrath.
Now that I’m home at The House on the Hill, I can finally sit down and write. Let’s get your brains humming on this gray, wintry Saturday. I’ve got 1000 Volts of Deep Thoughts here that should do the trick.
I am, however, going to change it up this week. Rather bombard your brain with dozens of questions, I’m going to pose one and then share my answer.
Hopefully, this will set off an exchange of Deep Thoughts that gets every brain purring.
My question is simple: Why do you write?
Writing has always been an escape for me. The only thing that’s changes over the years, is that from which I’m trying to escape.
When I was a wee Modern Philosopher, I was scrawny, nerdy, the smartest kid in the class, and had very few friends. I could disappear into my stories and become the brave hero, who everyone loved, and who was free from an Evil Step Mother who only wanted him to study and become even more of an anti-social weirdo.
Movies played a very important part in the process. Once I saw Star Wars, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to take myself and my readers on the adventures that George Lucas had taken me.
My entrance essay for NYU Film School detailed how I’d decided to write screenplays only after my Evil Step Mother would not allow me to run away to join the Rebel Alliance and help destroy the Empire.
I have very distinct memories of seeing Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Clearly, George Lucas had a powerful hold on me.
I saw Raiders right before baseball practice. ESM had sent me to the movies to kill time before practice so that she didn’t have to worry about me being home alone while she was at work. I had very little focus on the diamond that day, as my thoughts were back in the 1940s where I’d traded in my baseball glove and cap for a bullwhip and a fedora. The opposing team was now the Nazis, and all I cared about was keeping them from finding lost religious artifacts. Fielding grounders at third base was just going to have to wait.
In high school, writing was my escape from how afraid I was to speak in girls. In my stories, I always knew exactly what to say and the young ladies were fighting over me.
In reality, I did know what to say to the members of the opposite sex. That part of being a writer never failed me. However, I could never get up the courage to walk over to a girl on whom I had a crush to utter the perfect lines that were right on the tip of my tongue.
At NYU, writing was my escape from a future in the Rat Race. Writing was going to be the career that saved me from a life chained to a desk. It was going to allow me to follow in the footsteps of George Lucas, and inspire other awkward young boys in search of an escape from a rough life.
After NYU, writing was my escape from the fact that I had to figure out how to pay the bills and maintain a relationship now that school was done. I never stopped writing, even when I took “real jobs”. Writing was still my escape, and it was going to save me from ever having those real jobs turn into a career.
After my divorce, writing was an escape from my failures as a husband. In my stories, I was the hero, the girl chose me, and we always lived happily ever after.
When The Girl Who Owns My Heart moved away, writing was my escape from the broken heart from which I’ve still yet to recover. Writing this blog every day has given me a distraction and a focus at a time when I really need such things.
Writing has always been there for me whenever I needed to get away from my troubles. I know you supposedly can’t run from your problems, but you can certainly write yourself into a place where they can’t bother you for a while.
So what about you, Modern Philosophers, Why do you write?