A while back, our co-founder Faye Kirwin asked a good question: Why do you write? After seeing your awesome answers, we only thought it fair that we answer that same, very personal, question. Each month one of us from the Sprint Shack team will answer that burning question: Why do I write? Last month’s answer came from Taylor Eaton – look for Faye Kirwin’s answer in April! But first, Cristina R. Guarino is chiming in.
I can always count on my co-founders to ask the tough questions. When the ladies suggested we all contribute to the topic on why we write last month, I was stumped. I’ve thought about it just about every day until now, sitting at my writing desk, and I’m still scratching my head. Why do I write? How can I come up with something that’s not the embodiment of good writing’s most crippling plague—the cliché?
At the moment, a black binder sits on my desk to my right, a small spiral notebook and a set of color-coded post-its atop it. It’s the binder housing my many, many scattered notes for my current fantasy WIP—the story that’s taken me three years thus far and still hasn’t come to a conclusion. I organized and color-coded my various scraps and outlines last night in preparation for my upcoming #10KWritAThon, in which I hope to start tackling the brunt of the problem with the story. In addition, I have a short story desperately needing revisions tucked away in the dark corners of my “Writing” desktop folder, a YA novel from NaNoWriMo that needs reworking, and a bunch of half-formed ideas awaiting completion.
Why have I struggled so hard through these projects? The answer has always been a source of worry for me: simply, I’m often afraid of writing. I talk myself out of it. I run from it. And what’s a writer that doesn’t write? Many would argue: not a writer at all.
But the truth of it is, I want to write. I love writing. When I stop over-thinking it, I guess it comes down to something as simple as story. I love stories. I love reading them, listening to them, seeing them unfold. Most of all, I love creating them.
I think creation is a part of all of us; from the time we’re able to stand and walk and talk, we create stories. We embark on epic adventures with our toys. Our pudgy toddler fingers bring characters and scenery to life with our doodles, even if they just look like haphazard scribbling to the adult eye. But only a few of us go on to build off that into a hobby, a passion, a dream, a way of life. And no matter how many excuses I can find about lack of time in my day-to-day life, the fact is, I still always come back to writing in my most emotional moments: from the messy crayon “books” I punched together with a stapler and unsteady hands in elementary school, to the fanfiction that ignited my love for the craft, to the complex and sometimes mind-boggling projects I’m still trying to sort through now.
I may not have it all figured out yet, but I’m a writer, and I write because I don’t know how to live without stories. I never have. And I hope I never have to learn how.