As I cruised around the various blogs tonight, I noticed a trend and then ran into a question at Nigel’s blog I could not pass.
It is just a fad.
Many of the posts I read tonight were from bloggers who were exhausted by real life and who took a popular shortcut to posting when they were too tired to post: Leftovers. Whether they offered an older post in repress or gathered together tidbits to string together instead of building a post from scratch, the trend says, “You are still OK.”
I am talking to you.
A few of the blogs I ran across were taking matters directly to heart. Some very close to me joined me in engaging my weekend topic of voting and penal systems. Hoozah! My readers are scrolling away with something from my blog! And much gratitude to those who take those nuggets and make them shine.
It is all about you.
What? Yes, I said it. This time, it really is all about you. Remember me telling you about Nigel’s question? He wanted to know why we write. Nigel, this post is for you.
A common topic for writers in general. We churn out sad poetry; heartfelt, gut-wrenching personal tragedy; and mysterious imaginings we like to call fiction. The reason is not to make you sad, but to show our human side, our own frailty, our stark reality which does not disappear into the frilly words.
Ah, the rant. Writers are letting it out so they do not explode. More popular than George Carlin would have ever imagined, the rant is how we reach through our writing to grab you by the shoulders and shake you. We are saying, Do you understand the words coming out of my fingers?
Fiction. Like grand actors upon a stage, we transport you to places you may never see, take you to times you cannot live, wrap you in rich surroundings, introduce you to colorful characters, involve you in the twists and turns. We want you to let go of reality and give yourself the freedom to roam.
The apology. Writers, like all other humans, are imperfect. Even with our excellent grammar, keen vocabularies and perfect punctuation, we make mistakes. Some are the little ones (the bizarrely skipped word) and some are monumental tribulations from our lives. By writing, we ask your forgiveness as the representative of the human race.
Laughter is the best medicine. Some days, we want you to laugh at us. Others, we want you to laugh with us. But we need you to laugh. You need the endorphin rush of a fit of the giggles or a belly-jiggling guffaw which brings tears to your eyes before you reach out and share it with the people in your world you want to smile.
The how to. We learned (or just keep practicing) a task you are likely to attempt. We are compelled to tell you either there is an easier way than the instructions suggest or the journey will be tougher than you imagine. We try to guide you away from the agony of defeat and the inevitable reading of the instructions.
The how (not) to. The voice of experience rings through what we write. It is our own special version of Don’t touch the stove. We do not want you to lament our pain, but, instead, we want to spare you the Furacin and debriding.
The victory. Come with us on a magic journey which we want to leave a smile on your face. If we do it well, yours will reach from ear to ear, just like ours.
The jolt. We want to shock and amaze you. With tall tales, frightening statistics, ingenious plot twists or unadulterated truth, we want your jaw slack, your hands immobile and your mind still to absorb our words aimed specifically at you.
The report. We are information seekers and gatherers, verbal scavengers. We ferret out information and bring it to you.
1. The poem. For a writer, the most commonly used vehicle for love is poetry. The accomplished poet warms your heart in perfect meter and well-hidden rhyme. The amateur will offer a greeting card insert which still makes you want to run to your mate and hug.
2. The love story. Regardless of the setting, you are in a love affair with characters designed to speak to your soul. If written well enough, you fall in love in the story or are inspired to love in life.
3. The declaration. Part love story, part poem, part rant. The complicated recipe writers employ to reach you declaring their love.
Erotica. We write about the things we do, we see, we dream, we fantasize, we desire, we imagine. And we want you to join us in the reverie and reward.
Because We Can
Most of all, we write because we can. In some of us, it is a compulsion, an unending need to write. Some, it is passion, a love of words. Others, a job, it requires us to share. But for those whose words you love to read, it is truly all about you.
Why do you write?
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© Red Dwyer 2011
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