I am currently writing a novella in a journal my daughter gave me for Christmas. I requested this journal because of the quotation on the front (you see it above) from Charlotte Bronte. “I’m just going to write because I cannot help it.”
Truer words have never been written, at least for me.
I denied writing for most of my life, although I enjoyed all my writing assignments in school. I’d always loved reading and several times I’d had the idea that I should sit down and write a book. That idea went nowhere for a very long time.
And then one day, pretty much out of the blue, I read a romance novel, the first one in at least twenty years, finished it, and said, “I can do that.”
Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Years upon years of pent up “writer” came pouring out of me in the form of an epic medieval romance that finally ended at 187,000 words, and page after page of outlines for other books. Some were 1-2 sentence synopses; others were detailed, chapter by chapter outlines. I still have most of them and I’m getting through them one book at a time. If only the ideas would slow down I might have a chance to catch up.
We authors write because we must write. We must put ten to paper, perform that creative act that brings to life something from literally nothing. So many writers have told me “I write because something inside me will not allow me to stop writing.” We do have to write because we cannot help it. It is a physiological process, bordering on addiction in some cases. And we must write or we feel incomplete. Days when I don’t get any writing in are rare. I have to write, even if it’s just a page or two, or I feel terribly guilty.
We write because we have stories to tell, and if we don’t write them down, no one will listen to us.
We write because we have voices in our heads, sometimes ganging up on us and forcing us to write their story first.
We write because we have made a connection between our lives and the lives of others and we need to share that insight.
We write because we must fill those pages between the covers of the book.
We write because we must.