I Write Because it Saved My Life

In response to the challenge issued forth by Chuck Wendig, I have penned my rather indirect reasons for putting the digital pen to paper. I write because it saved my life. I write because it was given to me to do.

I firmly believer that within every single person that has ever lived, there exists an immaculate and intrinsic desire to do something. Some people are destined to build, invent or revolutionize. One can be called to these things through circumstance or choice, but most people ultimately discover what it is they were meant to do. I was meant to write.

There will always exist a plethora of those whose skills outweigh my own, but that was never called into question. There will always be those who find more success than me—even if their skills don’t match or surpass my own—but that was never called into question.

I write because it was given to me to do. Even if nobody publishes me, I write because it was given to me to do. Even if I get published and nobody reads my writing, I write because it was given to me to do.

I think there are three types of people: there are winners, people that know who they are, what they want, know their potential and they go out and they take life on. Then there are losers, people who don’t know who they are, or what they want. People that feel that accomplishing their dreams are hopeless, or impossible. Then there are a third group, and I’m in that group. Maybe you are too. These are people who haven’t figured out how to win yet. People who know they can win, they just need to keep working at it, to make some adjustments. You see, I know what I was put here to do, now it’s just a matter of doing it.

I could fill this space with the meaningless spittle of telling you about all these stories I have to tell, all these books I have to write. I won’t waste your time. Christopher Hitchens once said that most people have a book in them, and that’s exactly where it should stay. I don’t write because I want something with my name on it. I don’t write because I have something to say. I write because that’s what I was put here to do. I write because that’s what makes me happy.

I might struggle every single day of my life, fighting to find my way into the spotlight. I might never make it, at all. But that’s not why I do it. I do it because that’s what sparks a fire in my soul, and it has saved my life.

Finding out what it is that you were put on this earth to do can LITERALLY save your life. Most heart attacks in America occur between 8 and 9 AM, people going to jobs that they hate. So when I say that finding out what it is that you were meant to do can literally save your life, I do mean literally. If you were meant to write, and you’re still pandering about at a nine to five job, you are committing spiritual suicide.

To write, I think, is to put forth a piece of your soul that can only be replicated by other artists, but never scientists. Two and an additional two will always equal four, whether you are a student of Newtonian or Einsteinian physics. Two hydrogen and a single oxygen always make water, no matter which language you’re studying chemistry in. The novel, whether penned by King or Hemingway has a thousand meanings and all at once one. What greater creation in the world is this?

I very distinctly remember a question asked of me by a former college girlfriend, who, frustrated by my constant attention to my short stories and novels, asked me “why do you spend so much time editing your work?” I could reply in the only way I know how, with devastating truth. I said in kind, “because these will be the only things left when I am gone.”

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