Writing is a psychological, physical, and emotional experience. I’m not sure those who’ve never invested themselves in a written work can appreciate the effects a given piece can have on the person writing it. Any avid bookworm can tell you that reading can be extremely immersive; any willing slave to the muses will tell you writing is no different. The other night, while I was bringing Jane’s most recent adventure toward its climax, her story took me by surprise. She and another character decided to share some particularly emotional events—and writing them affected me profoundly. I stepped back awhile after finishing a particularly poignant scene then read it aloud for my husband. About 2/3 of the way through, my throat began to tighten, my voice cracked, and the tears began to pool in my eyes. It was all I could do to get through the scene. The feeling was heavy yet sublime.
It’s a difficult tack to relay effectually the drive behind writing any particular piece. It might seem clichéd, but when M. Somerset Maugham said writers “have to” write, he wasn’t exaggerating. Writing is not a choice for many of us; it is a necessity. I’ve described in the past the need to write as the perception of words, characters, and storylines building in the mind much like steam builds in a hot kettle—force it to build for too long, and eventually it’s going to blow. Not only must we write, however, but we must write as a story dictates. We don’t always have a choice in the matter when it comes to certain directions a story is going to take. We merely relay it as it must be. The muses are wiser than we.
With all that said, however, writing is an important part of who I am. It’s what I do.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.