By Charles Towne

Some thoughts on why I write…

Writing for me is an expression of my soul, my artistic calling, and a means of sharing as well as communicating to the world. It is also my way of expressing the fact that I care to whoever may read what I offer.
I write because every life and outlook is unique. No two people ever look at the same experience, the same valley, the same mountain in the same way.
Some of us will see the river flowing through the valley. Some will see the lovely chalet at the foot of the mountain, or the avalanche area, ready to slide down the side of the mountain and obliterate the chalet, while yet another soul might see the mama grizzly bear with her two cubs feeding on the salmon in the river.
Some will see all of these things, while others will experience fear, and others joy. The way we express ourselves through our writing can perhaps cast a new outlook on an old subject.
I write. It is one of the most demanding disciplines that I can imagine but I write because I must. I love the thought processes. I don’t necessarily love writing per se, but I love being a writer.
I have discovered something important about the writing craft and it is this, the more I write the better I become as a writer, and maybe, just perhaps, a better human being.
At this stage in my life I can’t imagine myself not writing.
Being published is not my consummate goal. Writing is my consummate goal but, I must admit, there is something very satisfying about seeing one’s work published. Call it ego if you will, whatever, I love it. Would I write if I was never published? Absolutely.
I write because after all, I am a writer and being a writer I must write.
There is a compulsive disorder, it is called hypergraphia, or, “midnight disease,” simply put it is an overwhelming need to write. The Roman poet Juvenal called it, “The incurable writing disease”. Curse, or blessing? Call it what you will, I have it. It wakes me from my deepest sleep, it strikes at inopportune times, I have been known to pull off the highway and park in order to write down some thought of the moment, and usually I have a pen and notepad ready, just in case.
I am happy that a prescription is not needed to purchase ink because I think it is my drug of choice.
If I am late for an appointment, yes, you guessed it, I had to stop what I was doing to capture a thought. This then is what I prefer to call, a blessed gift.
For most of us I think it is easier not to be a writer. This must be so because most people aren’t writers, and to be honest, very little harm befalls them. As for me, writing is a pleasure wherein I lose myself and find myself, both at the same time.
Writing enables me to journey to places as yet unexplored, it even allows me to travel through time and space, to explore fantastical dimensions, to experience adventures only dreamed of, to risk all, even life itself, and yet return unscathed.
Ideas do not belong to any one person, they are universal. Say I have an idea, it is a wonderful idea, the stuff of which castles and battlements and great bridges are built. Another comes along and uses the materials to build, oh the shame of it, a privy. But, the privy is used by one and all, for after all, it is called a “necessary house” for good reason, and so all turns out as it should be; thanks be to GOD.
Writing leads to discovery, insight and accomplishment.
If you hear a voice within you saying: “you are no writer,” then write, scribble away until that lying, deceitful voice is silenced, for It after all can only be silenced by your blessed gift, so by all means, write
One time I was suffering from a terminal case of writer’s block. I fiddled, I doodled, and I fidgeted, nothing. Then I began writing limericks, those nonsensical little gidgets started dribbling and pissing from my pen onto my paper.
Looking back, I wouldn’t want to share them with you for some of them are actually quite gross and ridiculous, but I am proud of them and still have them. Writing them broke the deadliest case of writers block in history, my own. Now I told you that because I have discovered the surest way to break through writer’s block is to write, simply that, just write.
By the way, that is what I am doing right now, smashing, crashing, erupting; bursting through another case of writer’s block.
Having received no formal education on the subject of writing I finally realized that style, and I am speaking of the writing style, is above all else, having something to say, and saying it in the clearest way possible. That to my way of thinking is the most important and possibly the only secret of style.
Writers are generally speaking, and this is only my opinion, injured, crippled folk, and I hate to admit it, we write to heal ourselves.
If I were to give advice that would, if followed, finally lead one to be a writer it would be this: Sit your butt in your chair and sit it there at the same time daily. Create a habit. Now that is pretty simplistic, if a tad crude isn’t it? But, my friend, that is what writing is all about, discipline on demand.
I think that only one thing separates the successful writer from the aspiring writer, the wannabe. The successful writer writes.
Remember, first last and always, you are a writer. Rest assured, if you cannot find time to write you will never be a writer. So write my friend, by all means, write.

Dear Lord, help me, teach me, and speak to me, and through me. If I can be a blessing to others through my writing, let it be so. Impress it upon my mind what I should write, and then give me the discipline and the courage to write it. I realize that some of what I write may be drivel but then again some of it will hopefully touch someone’s heart and draw them to you. My mind, my eyes, my hands are yours, use them to your glory. This I ask in Jesus’ blessed, most wonderful and Holy name, Amen.

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. Writing a meaningful comment is sometimes a challenge for me so I definitely have an appreciation for your abilities to write for those of us who do not have the talent and more importantly the desire. Writing is a gift bestowed on few for the benefit of many. Your weekly writings are always thought provoking and often humorous – sometimes a little of both. Keep writing and we will keep reading…

  2. Hey Mike Mike, writing to me can be a great blessing, and a curse, at the same time. Sometimes the stuff flows from my pen, then there are those times it dribbles. It has been said that writing is simple, all you have to do is open a vein, dip in your pen and start making little scratch marks on your paper. Oh well, some day perhaps I will arrive? Take care pal, Chaz

  3. My friend, when you write about yourself, I learn more and more why you are who you are. Your are truly blessed by G_D to have the skill to keep creating new and fascinating articles for the Voice.

  4. Herb, my brother and my friend, There are some that claim we only use 5% of the brain’s power. just imagine what would happen if we were to use 10%? I mean, would we explode? Or perhaps we would implode? I am reminded of the saying: “Some people are educated beyond their intelligence.” And that makes me think of those two wonderful mice, Pinky and The Brain, living as they did in their little cage. Pinky asks The Brain, “Brain, what are we going to do today?” And The Brain answers in typical Brain fashion, “Well Pinky, if everything goes according to plan, we are going to take over the world.” To think that an infinite creator gave man almost unlimited power! Yeah, just imagine! Please forgive me for rambling, Chaz

  5. I always enjoy your writing and this column was an example of why. It’s always intriguing to me to hear the reason someone does something that they love or are good at. Thanks for the insight Chuck, God bless!

  6. Ahh, Donald, As Popeye the sailor man always said, “I yam what I yam…! I am also what I am except when I aint! Each of us have little quirks that make us unique. Blessings on you my friend, Chaz

  7. Thanks very well said, good principle that can be used in many of Life’s Endevers keep Writing NEVA NEVA NEVA NEVA Give Up! W CHURHILL

  8. Dear EJ, the onliest thang I got t’ say about dat is this: if our legs bent the other way we wouldn’t be able to ride bicycles, and with that little treasure floating around in your mind I don’t want you to think I would ever give up. Blessings on you and yours pal, Chaz

  9. Again…made me smile with your
    article. Yes you are a writer, blessed from Heaven above.
    It seems to flow out of you so effortlessly. Keep up the good work, Chuck! God bless you!!

  10. Dear CSG, if the truth were known every article I write is hard work. I am not a well educated man in terms of formal schooling, but I am well read because I had a mother that loved books and passed that love on to me. A great man once said, “good books are like good friends, you can’t have too many of them.” I believe one of the saddest things in this age is the fact that our young people seem to be dumbed down, with no love for books, morality, loyalty, and genuine love, and consequently no self respect or belief in their own potential.
    And sadly, they don’t seem to know what the word “integrity” means. “Seeking the easy way” seems to be the motto of the age. O God, help us to be what you designed us to be. Blessings on you dear one, Chaz

  11. There is an interesting phenomenon at work when a writer takes up his or her pen. We have all heard that old saying about the pen being mightier than the sword, and it is true, for with it we can create or destroy. Therefore we have a great responsibility to have the truth of the matter before we began sharing another person’s life with the world. As a writer I am obligated to cause no hurt or give offense to any of God’s children. I believe that we must remember that truth, being what it is, is a flexible thing. People change, yes they really do, so therein lies the crux of the matter. What was true may no longer be so, therefore let me be cautious and responsible in all issues involving another soul and let me never intentionally give no hurt or slander. Hawk Lassiter

  12. Hawk old friend, truer words were never spoken! Let it never be said that we were ever purveyors of toxic waste that smells of rotten fish and dirty diapers. If we have a driving need to sow discord and hate we are poor writers indeed. Thanks, Chaz

  13. I think this is one of the most beautiful pieces that you have written. Yes, the muse is with you. I’m visiting Karla for several days, will have her read this. I’m sure she’ll love it. The muse sits on her shoulder too.

  14. Dear Judith, you pay me a high honor with your praise. There comes a place in every man’s life where he has to believe in himself, but without support, or affirmation if you will, we tend to struggle along wallowing in a state of ‘not’, of ‘little’, of ‘maybe’, or even, heaven forbid, a state of “never.’ Thanks so much, Chaz

  15. This article gives us insight as to what goes on with you writers. Very interesting. Most certainly a passion. I’m glad you pointed out that it’s not necessarily easy and that you do have to exercise discipline. Thanks for sharing so much about yourself. So glad you are using your talents!

  16. Kristin, dear Kristin, not easy? I should say so. Think of the most difficult task and multiply it a thousand fold! Oh, alright, I am exaggerating, just a tad mind you! It is my belief that writers are probably the most transparent of creatures, except when the aint. Thanks dear friend, I appreciate your comment. Chaz

  17. And what else are good friends supposed to be for if not to tag along on the journey and encourage those smitten by the dreadful but deliteful, and dastardly debilitating disease? Thanks ooold friend, Chaz

  18. My Dear Friend,
    You are indeed a gift from God because He gave me an insatiable desire to read!
    In my youth,reading took me to far away places, distant worlds,to meet many new peoples, and to have amazing adventures while never leaving the house! I met the beautiful princess of mars thanks to Edgar Rice Burrows, I swung in the jungle with Tarzan, I explored distant worlds with the Lensmen, I met racoons and porcupines with Sam Campbell! The entire universe was MINE!!! Because of writers like you
    To this day I can happily spend hour after hour just browsing in a bookstore. I see a title I would never personally buy and I know that it will be the perfect gift for someone else! I have tried your advice but I admit to being a much better reader than writer. God in His wisdom gave us each our talents, We need each other to complete “the gift”! God’s blessings on you my friend, keep that pen and pad handy!

  19. Richard, so different and yet so similar!. The same books, adventures of fantasy, and yes, not only the universe, but the entire galaxy as well. I knew the little people existed. I was chased by the “Terrible” but I always escaped. There were fantastical creatures yet to be discovered, still are as a matter of fact. Books have added to my life in ways I can’t describe and they are still impacting my life far beyond my dreams. Books have led me to adventures with lions and ladies, and opened the gates of heaven for each of us. Bless you my friend, Chaz


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