I remember when I started writing in high school, it was because I wanted to be a film maker and make blockbuster action movies. Well, that was the surface reason. If I were to be really honest with myself, I think I was an angry little kid and had a lot to bitch about, and my screenplays gave me a creative outlet to do that and a reason to get people to hear my desperate cries for attention.
These days, I honestly don’t feel that I write to vent anymore. I mean, I still write bitchy stuff, but I think I channel my old anger more for comedic effect than any real sense of frustration. Entertaining friends then became the new reason I wrote, and I had tons and tons of mass-emails that resulted from that (this was before blogs came about).
So what’s my drive now? Why do I keep writing? Well, money is a good motivator, which would explain all the writing gigs I take up and my careers in magazines and social media.
But what about my personal writing, like this blog for example. I guess I still want to entertain people, but deep down inside I want to write something that resonates with someone. Something that makes you pause for a moment and think: “Yeah, I know exactly how that guy feels.”
I was listening to Tegan and Sara today, and one particular song hit me hard.
Why don’t you want to win me now?
Why don’t you want to show me off?
Tell me why you couldn’t try,
Couldn’t try to keep me here.
Someday soon, I won’t be the one who waits for you.
It was like Sara took a bit of my soul and put it into her song because these lyrics just make so much sense to me. And I guess it is great to hear someone else echo your thoughts in such detail, because it reduces your sense of isolation. I’m not alone in the way I feel (or in this case, have felt), so I can take comfort in that.
Have I ever written something that has resonated with someone? Probably. I certainly hope so. Definitely not those silly screenplays I wrote as an angry teen… but there is one particular screenplay that means a lot to me.
I called it Idle Dreams and it was about two people who yearned to be able to pursue their dreams, yet couldn’t bring themselves to do it for various reasons like financial fears, other commitments, and the dreaded lack of self-confidence. I’m pretty certain that I can’t be the only person in the world who has felt like this.
It’s my most personal screenplay ever, and I really wanted to produce it into an indie film. I had even gotten a couple of actors together and we had begun production on it.
I lost steam and confidence halfway through, so it exists solely as a screenplay these days, along with some stills and recorded dialogue. My inability to finish it remains one of my biggest failures in my life (a fact that resurfaced recently when I got hit by the job interview question “What do you consider to be your biggest failure?”).
Anyway, I still harbor that hope that I will write something that makes a deep level of sense someday, that will so perfectly condense into words that describe the purity of a feeling or experience, so I’ll keep writing until that happens.
Well, that’s my reason. I’m sure you guys have your own reasons, and I think it’d be awesome if you shared them. Maybe it might be nice to find out that someone else writes for the same reason.