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.
AN OUTDOORSMAN’S PRAYER
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.