Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why I Write

All writers do their work to be read, and work is the correct word because writing done well breaks a sweat for the mind. 

With an honest eye for what surrounds me, I would say my prose is adequate, certainly not art, merely basic to the craft. I feel about my prose the way I used to feel when I used oils to create pictures -- I was a painter, not an artist.

I always loved to read Lewis Lapham when he wrote for Harper’s Magazine, and I still appreciate the work of Christopher Hitchens. Their words are sharp and funny and always provocative. (One need not agree with their thoughts to appreciate the cadence of their words)

I’m at the point now where I can improve my work most by leaving words out of the sentences. Said differently, I am tempted to use two words to say what I mean, but needing to choose only one. This calls for self-discipline and self-restraint, which I am learning with difficulty.

In the end, I write because I really cannot do otherwise. There seems to be this inner drive that will not let me alone. So, when I say that all writers do their work to be read, this is true, but all writers would write even if no one read their stuff. This blog is proof of that truism.