I've been thinking a lot lately about why we write - or should I say not "we" but I. There's the practical side - I write to earn money. In this I will admit to sometimes whoring myself out for the cash. I sometimes write about the most unsexy things and I type the words "By [fill in a name that's not mine]" underneath it. Its money and we all need that. I write marketing materials for cash. I write press releases because they'll pay me. But that's not "my writing." That's my work.
My real writing - the stuff that I put in here or the things I try to evolve into essays that I can attempt to sell for more of that cash - is cathartic. I write. That's just what I do. Some people have therapist that they can unload on. I don't have that nor do I want that. Some people bitch and moan to their friends or lovers. Sure, I do that. I do it a lot.
But there are things that aren't quite as eloquently expressed verbally. Too often feelings get interrupted by someone else's two cents. There are times when advice is nice to have. There are times when you really do go to a person looking for their take on a situation. But then there are other times when all you really want is someone to listen to you not to guide you. This is a skill too few people have today. Too often we, myself included, want to fix it. We see someone we care about in pain and we want to make it better by telling them what to do or how to feel or what to think instead of just listening to whatever it is they just said. There are times when this is far from helpful despite the best intentions it comes with.
So sometimes I write. I stare at a blank screen and I spit out the bile welling within me. I let the emotions or the conflict flow out me through my fingers and fill the "paper." Once there its removed from me. Its not gnawing at me any longer, its there waiting to be read, to be processed, to be managed if need be as if it was another person's concerns. When its out on the paper it can be dealt with. I can stand back and think it through a bit more objectively.
Other times I write to silence the chatter in my head. There are things that just flow from a writer without her stepping in to direct it. Its as if something bigger than herself is putting those words out there using her body as a conduit. The essay, the story, the written verse is just begging to be birthed and all a writer can do is let it out. These, I often feel, are the most honest, most evocative pieces a writer can ever produce.
For me, this blog's second entry on fear and fertility came from that spot and also satisfied the emotional purging I needed. It was a way to deal with emotions so I could put them behind me and approach the attempt for a second child a bit more rationally. At the same time, it was a verse that was singing itself in the most inner recesses of my right brain, begging to be unleashed. I merely set it free.
By the way, for what its worth, when I wrote said post, I was, unbeknownst to me, already pregnant with our second child. I have a whole new set of internal battles being fought - most predominately the one over whether or not I get to digest my lunch without sharing it with the porcelain throne. But alas, this is another post for another time.