Why Do You Write? A Question Answered at Several Levels of Snark

Mysterious Interviewer: Hey Suzanne, why do you write?

Suzanne: Well, why do you breathe? Because it’s innate and it beats the alternative, right? There you go.

Mysterious Interviewer: *Rolls eyes.* Cut the crap and answer the question.

Suzanne: Fine. I wrote a lot in elementary school. But as a kid, (and now) I struggle(d) with perfectionism. When I realized I wasn’t always going to be the goose who laid the golden story-egg, I stopped writing. However, the impulse remained, always at the back of my brain. Fast forward to approximately 2016. I had my dream job as physical therapist, my dream partner, and a wonderful group of friends, but I still wasn’t happy. One day a patient asked if I was a writer. Even though I hadn’t written much in fifteen years, I intuitively said yes. This led to a lot of introspection. Eventually, I decided to pursue writing seriously. Once I did, that sense of lingering dissatisfaction vanished.

Mysterious Interviewer: Great, now we’re cooking with gas. Let’s go deeper. Why are you pursuing publication rather than scribbling into a notebook under the cover of blankets?

Suzanne: Oh, so you want to go there? Cool, cool. Give me a second to shake off the remaining snark. *rolls shoulders.* OK. Here’s the for real answer: it’s complex. I’ve lived a pretty darn good life, but I do live on Earth so it hasn’t been all kittens vomiting sunshine. During challenging times, I’ve found two consistent sources of comfort: the people I hold dear, and stories. Both made me feel seen. Both made me feel a part of something greater than myself. Both provide pleasant distractions. I can’t replicate my relationship with my family, friends, and partner, and put it out into the world for others, but I can write stories.

OK, Mysterious Interviewer, are you happy now?

Mysterious Interviewer: Yes.

Suzanne: Good. Now that we’re done with serious mode, I have a joke. Two cupcakes are in the oven and-

Mysterious Interviewer: *Slams door*

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