Made to write

I wrote before how I’m a positive person by nature. It’s one of the greatest attributes a person can be gifted with I think. For all of that it’s hard to find many positives from the last few years. I’m sure they will emerge in time, but one which lurks at the edges of my mind seems right now to be hokey and downright metaphysical.

Like I said, I’m hard put suggesting anything good that’s come from this time. Maybe I can point to refinements in my character, but that’s subjective and open to interpretation. On a material level it’s been pure catastrophe. Perhaps though these train of events are pushing me, with a cosmic intent or not, down a particular path.

On the weekend I found out that a guy I went to school with many years ago has just published a novel. You kidding me, right? That dweeb? Come on! It tore at me. As I said to my mate, “I hope it’s crap”.

I said that in a kind of twisted jest, but there was something at the heart of it. Writing is my thing after all. It’s the thing I feel closest to. It’s the thing others are always urging me to do. It’s the thing I always think I should do more with – but never do. It felt like my territory was being encroached upon, and it hurt.

As it turns out his novel is competent, though in the Christian/action/mystery genre. Of course I leapt upon that. “Christian!” I hrmphed, “that doesn’t count then.”

Still I felt my competitive juices surge. I was at a barbecue when I heard drinking red wine and chewing on a hamburger and making polite conversation with this thing spinning like a top in the back of my mind. “Can you believe it?” I said to my friends, making a joke of it. Maybe you should write one, they said. I took it the same way, this as a sign that I had better get jumping. And that’s exactly the interpretation my friend took in telling me. Time to get cracking H.

Standing here with the ruins about me I think sometimes all this happens so that I am made to write; and not just made to, but in the perpetual struggle given the experience and rich material that can be drawn upon. With seemingly so little  to salvage from the mess there has to be something in the rubble. Right?

So what’s this ‘made to’? I don’t believe in that do I? Objectively, of course not. In that deep part of myself though, the part through which a river runs swiftly following its own course, there’s a sense that this is a reasonable conjecture. Things maybe happen for a reason. And maybe those dudes who pull the strings who you refuse to acknowledge have got impatient with me not following their script and went code red in their response. Basically they went and burned Rome on me. What can you do when it’s all ruins about you? What do you do when everything you try outside of yourself comes up nought? If you’ve got nothing left you have to go inside of yourself to find anything. In my case they’re words. And in these circumstances, many of them.

I don’t believe that, do I? No, but whatever. If it means I’ll produce a novel to trump schoolmates and now and into the future then I’ll go with it. I’m a believer.


3 responses to “Made to write

  1. Some smart-arse told me that being jealous of other writers was natural! If it fires you up, then Ok. But…………… I’m not sure it would keep me going.
    I write because I have to, and now I need to. I write to impress…….. me, and anyone else who will sit still long enough to read.
    Why do you write?


    • Because it just bubbles up in me. I see the world in words. I sit and observe and the words that describe what I feel and what I see come unbidden to me. Putting things into words allows me to makes sense of things, and unexpectedly opens up vistas of insight and understanding. Writing makes me a better person I think, and so I do it because I must.


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