Things are happening at about three thousand miles an hour these days.
Strange things, like the Snowstorm of the Century Across America, a crazy continuation of weather irregularities that have lambasted the US, and in fact much of the world, this past year. Snow where it doesn't snow, rain when it's supposed to snow, and building collapses from the weight of it all. Earthquakes, floods, extreme temperatures. Cholera, despondency, hunger.
Mubarak, riots, agents of change and agents of harm. Civil unrest, the cry for democracy, bloody participants and journalists alike. Joblessness, hopelessness, desperation leaking from the soul of a country. Full body scans, health care battles, shootings in the parking lot of a grocery store. At some point insanity has become the status quo. I feel like I'm living smack dab in the middle of Billy Joel's song We Didn't Start The Fire.
So I thought about that. There is just one word that encompasses all of this craziness: and that word is change. That trite old addage is still viable: nothing ever stays the same. Evolution, revolution, grow or stagnate, live or die. It happens in nature and it happens in humankind.
We as writers definitely have no lack of subject matter to cull stories from.
To write, is for me, a way to express my creativity and share some humor and make people smile in the face of the often harsh realities of life. But writing is also an escape, not only for the folks who pick our books up, but for me as well. I write to escape, to create an environment I can control, as much as I write to entertain. It goes beyond the "I write because that's what I do," or "I have to put words on the page because I'm strangely compelled to."
I think one reason I write is to try and slow the world down, the world that is whipping by me faster every day. It's my small attempt to make order out of chaos. And when I can make someone laugh, pull a person out of their troubles and make them forget for just a little while, it's all worth it. Worth the sometimes solitary torture of the blank page and characters who refuse to behave.
So. Why, really, do you write? Why do you spend hours, days, months at a time alone, pounding the keyboard? What truly, compels you to share your words, your worlds, your fictional friends? Is it about trying to control inevitable change or more about the freedom to allow change to happen as it needs to? What do you think?