I love words. Seems strange to say, maybe even a little obvious. The thing is that it wasn’t until I hit my mid-twenties that I realised I wanted to spend all my time writing words, putting them down one by one next to each other. Lining them up, swapping one for another, building paragraph after paragraph. A life as simple as that.
We all use words. We use them every day, every minute. Everyone has their own favourite words. We swear at the noisy birds on the powerlines in the morning. We sleepily chatter with our dogs as we make coffee. We put in our lunch order. We write an social media post full of words, or at the very least little pictures that represent words. We sit on the couch as a steady stream of words come spouting out at us from a dodgy speaker connected to our tiny television set. We shorten words. We join words together to make whole new words. It can’t be that hard to sit down and bang out a bunch of meaningful words in a reasonable row, right?
I do admit some days aren’t so bad. Some days I can quiet my monkey mind and shut out the world just enough to feel cautiously proud as I press save and then double back up my writing (you know, just in case my laptop crashes and I lose all my precious words). Some days I don’t feel the need to bang my head against the wall or throw my pen childishly to the ground and storm off. There are even some days where I don’t spend most of my time staring blankly out of the window at the newly painted fence across the street.
A question heard in passing repeats through the dark recess of my mind. Why do you do what you do? Why do you do what you do? For all my love of words, this is the one question that is hardest to answer, to put words to, to create an intelligible answer. I don’t know exactly why I do what I do. I do have a specific objective for where I want to go with my writing but who’s to say I’ll achieve it. I could write the novel of the century (in my own opinion) but to another it may be total garbage. I won’t know until I’ve written those 90,000 or more words, carefully and painstakingly tapping them out in the correct order. I won’t know until I’ve spent hours, days, weeks, months and years typing and deleting, typing and rewriting. I have no words for why. What if I don’t need a why? What if my love of words is all that I need to create the patience and trust necessary to keep me going.