Sunday, November 25, 2007

Writing, & Why I Do It

I occasionally had cause to wonder why I write the postings for this blog. (I am sure that many of you out there, having read one or more of these postings, have cause to wonder why I am allowed to. ) Oh sure, it's fun to do it, and every now and again I even manage to string a few words together intelligently (ususally by accident); but it sometimes seemed to me that there had to be more than that.  

Don't get me wrong here, I have no pretensions about the stuff that comes out of my head and onto these pages (apprehensions yes, pretensions no). I recognize that the nonsense that I put forth has more to do with Tom Arnold than Thomas Jefferson (and I don't even like Tom Arnold). I am not crusading for a better and smaller government, more freedom, or to protect the common man in this blog (at least not so you are supposed to be noticing). There are better and smarter people doing that in the blogging world already, and I do not place myself in their class. No, I would have to say that there is more Play-do than Plato in the what I put down on these postings. Hell, maybe I am the court jester or comic relief for their efforts, which really wouldn't be so bad a gig.

As I often do when confused on an issue, I looked at some of the quotes that I have collected over time. There is often great wisdom to be found in the words of wit from writers far greater than me:  

The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything – Walter  

It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no real talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous. - Robert Benchley

The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it. – Leo Rosten  

Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard. - Daphne dy Maurier  

A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor. - Ring Lardner  

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. - Thomas Mann  

... and my favorite  

Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good. - Samuel Johnson  

These are all true, somewhat relevant (and occasionally funny), but of no real help in seeking the answer to my quest however. So I turned to my fellow bloggers, hoping that they might have some answer or insight that I might wrap my head around. The closest that I was able to come up with came from Hooda claims that he writes because the voices in his head make him. 

While I have to say that this concept scares the living crap out of me, I find unfortunately, that I can relate to it. I have written in one form or another since I was a kid, and during the periods of my life when I was not writing felt somewhat lost and disconnected. I guess that for some people, there just seems to be something that forces them to create things. They don't have to be good, but they do have to provide a sense of satisfaction when they are completed.

As for where it all comes from, I like the way that Harlan Coben put it in his book "Just One Look", that we often bore ourselves "... to the point where inspiration must emerge if only to preserve your sanity". (Oh sure, it's too late in my case, but there might be hope for others.) So maybe in the end, I have the City of Toledo to credit for the amount of writing that I am doing these days. Maybe if I lived in a more exciting place, or had a more exciting life, no inspiration would be forthcoming and little in the way of writing would be accomplished.  

Then again, it's more likely that living in this target-rich environment and being who I am, putting all of this on paper helps me to keep a healthy sense of the ridiculous in life.

For myself, I have a more important reason that will force me to continue to make these efforts now. You see my father past away this last week, right before Thanksgiving. He had been ill for some time, but managed to hang on until my son and I made it out to Kansas City for the holiday. One of the things that he really enjoyed in these last months were my efforts, and the last picture that I have of him is one where he is sitting in front of the computer, catching up on the postings for this blog site. I think that he was relieved to discover that his son could string words together coherently if he was going to do so in public. I think that he also got a chuckle over the perspective that I took on various subjects. So I will go on now, knowing that the one reason that I continue to write, if for no other, will be that it will give him a continued source of amusement.


Chad Quigley said...

I write becasue nobody will listen to me..hehehe

Chad Quigley said...

But I cannot type for spit and my spelling is totally male..laf!

Luke said...

Sorry to hear of your father's death. My father died three years ago today.

Chad Quigley said...

My Friend...

Prayers to you and your family during this most difficult time. For someone who's life revolves around words, I know none are sufficient. Faith and time.

Also, Luke...same to you sir ;-)

Tim Higgins said...

Thanks to all for the kind thoughts and wishes. They are greatly appreciated.

There is no answer for this except to put one foot in front of another and face the days ahead. I am sure that the support that I have been shown will make that task easier for me.

Maggie Thurber said...

I'm just catching up on my internet readings following the holiday and just learned about your dad...I'm so sorry for you loss. But the description of him reading your blog on the internet brought a smile to my face!

Tim Higgins said...

Thanks Maggie, the thoughts that you and others have shared has helped a great deal. As might be expected, I am working on something in celebration of his life, but it may take some time to come to grips with.