Unless You Must

Editor’s note: this is a guest post by Mckenzie of Unabridgedgirl.

Writing is much more than fingers to the pen and the pen to the paper. Indeed, every writer slaves (in a good way) over their work. They practically bleed: dotting every i, crossing every t, scrutinizing every letter. They carefully craft characters and piece prospective plots, while banishing the inner-critic and ignoring (at least the first time around) the inner-editor. They do all of this and more, not in a day or two days, but over time: threading a story, bound together by, as Virginia Woolf puts it, “Every fibre of our being.”

To write – – to be a writer, we unleash, as cheesy as it sounds, our inner-most thoughts, our soul, even if it is only between the lines. We tell a story because we have something to say, and, for us, there is no other way to say it. There is nothing more beautiful and terrifying to a writer than a blank sheet of paper: full of possibilities.

We do not write to pass the time. We write because we must.

We do not write to make money (though that would be nice!). We write because we must.

We write because something inside of us demands that we do. There is an internal need to bleed out the words, to watch them form and mold and suddenly breathe. Like the crazed Dr. Frankenstein, we finish a work (be it story, essay or poem) and stand back, throw up our arms, and cry, “It’s alive! IT’S ALIVE!”

It is not arrogance. Not really. It is our way of looking at the world and sharing what we see, why we see. Some people are good at punching numbers. Other people excel at tight-rope walking, while some shine at building houses. We? Do extremely well with the written word. Or at least we try.

To be honest, I am not sure you can really understand us, not unless you write because you must.

Mckenzie started writing before she started talking. (Not really, but it sounded good.) At any rate, she loves the written word, drowning in books, and soon she realized that she didn’t just have to love reading books, she could write them, too! So, writing is no longer a hobby but a serious endeavor. She is currently working on her first novel, and plans to finish the rough draft by Januray 1, 2011. Aside of that? She loves family, friends, and anything to do with chocolate.

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16 comments on “Unless You Must

  1. I totally agree with Mckenzie. We write because we must, not because we want to. This need that eats us from inside until we satisfy it.

    Looking forward to your story, Ollin.

  2. Mckenzie says:

    Ollin: I’m looking forward to your story as well!

    Maimoona: Thank you!

  3. Hahaa! “It’s alive, it’s alive!” Brialliant, and exactly how you want readers to feel, becasue that’s how you feel🙂

    BTW, Ollin, you’re at 5,019 hits now. I want a story.

  4. milkfever says:

    Yes, yes, yes. We writers share a special bond.
    “We do not write to pass the time. We write because we must.”
    It’s an addiction, but who would we be without it.
    Writers Unite.
    Thanks for a great post. Put a smile on my face.

  5. “There is nothing more beautiful and terrifying to a writer than a blank sheet of paper: full of possibilities.”

    Well-put. Amen to that!

    Lovely share–made me remember who I am (not that I’d forgotten, but still).
    Thanks for writing this, Mckenzie!

    -BrownEyed

  6. Lua says:

    Haha love that Frankenstein analogy Kenzie and yes- it would be nice if we could make some money out of it too…🙂
    I think we write because we simply cannot not write.

  7. A wonderful post as always, Kenzie. We write because we must indeed.

  8. Mckenzie says:

    Thank you!🙂

  9. Thank You McKenzie. You made my day. We write because we must…. what a line! Oh and you brought in Dr.Frankenstein to drive your words into our hearts. You are brilliant!

    I will try to remember this forever.

    Thank you Ollin for introducing her to your readers.

  10. Ollin says:

    btw, Mckenzie, awesome guest post! You truly captured the writer’s strange addiction to the writing process. Take away writing from us, and it’s like we’re walking around without a limb, right? Thanks again for doing this!🙂

  11. Beautifully and succinctly put.

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