Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Why I Write
I skimmed a very interesting interview about The INTERN (interview here, INTERN's blog here), and one comment in it made me think:
"In the case of her fiction and poetry: realistically, INTERN probably writes because writing has always yielded more positive strokes for her than any other pursuit—much as a rat will keep pressing the button that gives it the most candy."
The quote brings to mind the first time that I decided being a writer would be cool. I was about nine or ten, bored out of my head during summer vacation, and I'd run out of books to read and games to play with my cousin. I came up with an elaborate pretend "game" where we were the staff writers for a magazine. I dimly recall that I wrote a piece on Mozart, and my cousin wrote a piece on the game of marbles. (It was an eclectic magazine, you see.)
The grown-ups oohed and ahhed (mainly because we weren't making a mess, probably), but at that time, something just clicked. I was good at something!
Amazing. The kid who couldn't hit a beach ball with a tennis racket, the kid who had no rhythm, the kid who was so clutzy that she'd trip over her shoe laces even if they were tied, that kid was finally good at something.
I wonder just how many of our best-selling authors today wound up where they are because they were like me: can't dance, can't sing, can write a little.