Tuesday 9 February 2010

Why Write?

With the fun of finishing up edits for both Destiny's Blood and Sorceress of Shadows (last book of the Heirs of a Broken Land series), being the guest reviewer in Absolute XPress' third flash fiction contest AND preparing for Fireborn in March, my poor little blog has, once again, fallen to the wayside.

Yesterday a good friend e-mailed me something her co-worker's son wrote for Grade 12 Writers Craft class, and I loved it so much I wanted to share it. It's full of passionate wit, which I adore.

Why Write?

by W. Creighton Friedrich

Why write? In the age we live in what purpose could it possibly serve? All the hours one can spend mindlessly pecking away at a keyboard, or scribbling away with an unforgiving pencil, what good can they bring? How many television shows do we miss while we pen away our lives? How many video games are left lonely and unplayed? How many times could we have checked our facebook while we waste time allowing our creativity to create something unique? It seems to me like while we slow our lives down to reflect, and think, and indeed, to write, we disconnect ourselves from the thousand mile-an-hour world around us. Slowing down the pace seems rather unproductive and counter-cultural, doesn’t it?

After all if we’re all projecting our thoughts and feelings and lessons onto paper we miss out on the fun of repeating our colourful history. It’s like a roller coaster. The fun of history is doing the same loop-to-loop over and over again. Historians and academics would have us progress, like a train, towards some strange, unknown destination by writing down what we have learned and reflecting on its circumstances so as not to put ourselves through something similar again. Where’s the cyclical fun? Where’s the monotonous ecstasy? I only see the dangers of betterment, progress, evolution of our awareness; for if we are not chained to a repeating track we are left blazing mysterious trails.

Furthermore, while we pen our thoughts and ideas we run the risk of enlightenment. For you see, wisdom is the sun of our world today. We may bask in its warmth; enjoy its presence; but only from a distance. Those few who venture to learn, to experience, to better themselves fly too close in their selfish quest and, like Icarus, they collide. Can we not settle for superficial understanding of the wonderous world of wisdom? Why must these few ‘philosophers’ spend their days flying away with their ideas, questions, and aspirations trying to inspire the ignorant world of Pizza Pizza, PlayStations, and Paris Hilton? Everyone knows that progress comes through conformity. Men weren’t meant to fly so let’s stay happy on the ground.

Finally, I must affirm, writing never changes anything. Authors poke, prod, and waste their time with endlessly incomprehensible truths, messages, and perspectives with little to show for it. Surely there isn’t a document in the world that could contain any (let alone enough) substance to bring about spiritual illumination, order and governance a country, or allow for any beneficial personal change to an individual. Why bother with books, and notes, and essays when we all know that the authority in this soft world is eye-appeal, buy-appeal? Let the world sleep blissfully, unconscious and unconcerned, without the clanging cymbals of individuation or shouts of awareness from these ‘writers’. Let us dream unhindered without the nightmare of dealing with anything genuine.

Why write? Why analyze, scrutinize, theorize, realize, or hypothesize when we can lay back, comfortably conforming to the system? To our trite traditions? Why write when we can readily relive the mistakes of the past? Or enjoy the ecstasy of superficiality? Let writing peacefully pass on, for it is a method that has clearly outlived its purpose.

... Kudos to Creighton - I hope you keep on writing!