tagHow ToDig Your Fingernails in Deep

Dig Your Fingernails in Deep

byMSTarot©

"Why do you write?"

You will see this question a lot in your life as a writer. It's almost as popular as the more often heard, "Where do you get your ideas from?"

The funny thing about that second question is, there is not a good answer. Oh, you can cite sources and places and conversations all day about where your ideas come from, and while that is true enough, there is always that thought at the back of your head. "Is that really where I get them from?" That thought may trouble you for most of your life as a writer. But that other question...

"Why do you write?"

That has an answer. What is it?

Hum... because you have no choice? Bullshit, you could walk away from the keyboard, and all those stories would simply sit and simmer till you forgot them. Why else would authors say they carry a notebook to jog down ideas when they come? Because the good ones fade. If you stop writing, the good and bad story ideas will fade. Before long it will feel like too much of a struggle to even come up with a title let alone a story to put under it.

"So why do you write?"

To reach out and make someone feel what I want them to feel. Okay... but why would you want to do that? What difference will it make that you made someone you will never see smile, or laugh, or cry... or get a hard-on? Will you even know that you did that? Oh I'm sure you will get a number of comments that will tell you that you moved someone. That they smiled or cried when they read your story. That they laughed or got hard (or wet). But is that enough? Is that enough reason to sit in front of a computer pouring out your ideas? Maybe for a few it is, but even for them, there will come a time when they feel they just don't have a story to tell. Writer's block.

"SO WHY DO YOU WRITE?"

Because we want to be heard!

We want to be the person that when we speak, all eyes turn to us. The person that no one would dare to interrupt while we talk. That people will listen to with passion filling their hearts. That passion growing with our every word! We want that with all our innermost desire, yet most of us, when confronted with the chance to be that person... have backed down. Remained silent. Stood at the back of the crowd and listened to someone else say what we wanted to say, if we had found the courage to step up and say it out loud.

We are the unheard... yet with a keyboard before us we can and will let our words ring out. We will with every keystroke cry to the very heavens "I will to be heard!"

"... I want to be remembered"

Is that it? Is that why you write? So some small part of 'you' will not be forgotten when the years have passed? When the last echoes of our spoken words have faded to just a dim memory? Then in that dark hour perhaps... perhaps we, the unheard, will have our say. At last the world will look at our works and say, "I wish I had known this person. I wish I could have listened when they spoke."

"Is that why you write?"

Immortality? To be remembered long after the last book is signed, the last royalty check cashed and spent? We can learn from the quotes of Mark Twain, yet he's been dead more than a century. We can love reading the collective works of William Shakespeare, yet he spoke last nearly four hundred years ago. We can sit in awe, our eyes glued to giant screens filled with famous actors playing out the works of Homer. Dead more than two millennia. His body not even dust, yet his words remain.

You want that?

Type! Type till your fingers cramp, type till the tips bleed! Pour out word after word, sentence after sentence, story after story! You want to be heard? You want to be remembered? You want to be immortal?

Then Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Let the pounding of your keyboard ring out into the very heavens. If your spoken voice can not do that for you, then let the very thoughts in your head manage to hold the crowd. Draw them in, pull at their hearts, catch their attention fully and don't let it go. Have them turning page after page. Be the writer that made the reader miss work because they stayed up all night trying to finish a story!

Is that what you want? Really?

It will take your full effort. Your every waking moment. It will take time that you will wish you could have spent doing something else. It will take time you should have been asleep. Writing must become the reason that you turn on the computer. The reason you carry a pencil and notebook everywhere you go. The really famous writers get up in the morning, get dressed and go to their 'office'. They sit down and they write. Not because they are in the mood. Not because inspiration struck them. They do it because it pays their bills. Puts food on their table. Pays for their kids to go to school. You know, that sounds like a... Job?

Yeah... it's their job.

A job just like the one you have. They don't want to be there, they don't want to be doing what they're doing. They can't wait till break-time, lunchtime, end of 'shift' time. They can't wait to get out of that 'office' and go do something fun. Now I'm sure that some of them love what they do. They love to get up and spend the day writing. Well, some people love what they do for a living too. Some of us, hell, most of us hate it. Just remember the old saying about work, "If it was fun to do they wouldn't have to pay you."

Also remember in the end whether they loved writing or hated it doesn't matter. They wrote. They wrote and they wrote and they wrote...and they will be remembered. For how long, no one can say for sure, but it will be a lot longer than most spoken words. If you think that what you have to 'say' is worth remembering too, then you need have the same level of dedication that they do. Put your heart into what you write, be it a short little story written for fun or a novel you gave up years of your life to see finished. Write a comedy, a tragedy, a drama. Make them laugh, make them cry, piss someone off and make them feel every word. When you write, let it be from your head and your heart and your soul. Leave nothing behind that you wish you had said. When they ask you why do you write, you look them in the eye. Take a deep breath and say-

"Because I'm a writer. It's what I do."

And when they get that stupid smirk on their face and ask, "Well, why do you write erotica?"

Just smile at them and tell them with a grin.

"Because this writer wants to be remembered for being naughty of course."

Always with a grin,

M.S. Tarot.

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