Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Why Do You Write?

It's the question that is always asked of the author in the room. Jack Kerouac answered it by saying he wrote because he was bored. Charles Bukowski refused to answer it.
Me?
I write because I have nothing better to do.
I write because I am immensely vain and like the sound of my own voice, even in silence on the page or computer screen.
I write because I don't know how to say these things in conversation.
I write because I want to be told how clever and talented I am.
I write because I believe telling one's own truth liberates everybody.
That's all. If I get a reputation or a career out of it, fine. But I'm too lazy and undisciplined to seek them actively.

9 comments:

Glenn said...

I write to give meaning to my existence, and as a response to the terrible affliction of having been born.

Anonymous said...

Hey, isn't today Boxing Day in England? What is that all about? Do you know?

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify ... I am not the same Anonymous who just asked about Boxing Day. I guess I'll have to acquire an identity here at the Blogger so I don't appear to be a lunatic.

Fat chance, he says.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I like the third answer. I'm sure I write much better than I can express myself in real time. I blame my parents for my social inadequacies, much like anyone else does.

One of my aunts died Christmas Day. Her husband, this particular uncle, has had bad luck with wives, but he seemed to be extraordinarily happy with her over the past 10 or so years they've been married. Horrible that he found comfort late in life only to have it ripped away from him at the end.

Lung cancer metastasized to her bones. She fell on a last exotic trip to Hawaii - she wanted to go to the place she liked most before the fat lady sang. During the trip, she fell and broke several bones in her hips and pelvis, so she was in a chair right up to the end.

I worked in cancer treatment for a while and ended up leaving because I had 2 coworkers whom I detestd for their apathy towards the patients. More on that later if you like. If not, I'll just let it be known that I was much better company to the dying than I feel I've been to the living.

Anonymous said...

and, it appears you still are....

Bruce Hodder said...

To the anonymous who asked about boxing day:why do I feel there's some hidden intent in the apparently random, credulity-begging insouciance of that question?

Ahh, perhaps the paranoia is getting to me at last...

Bruce Hodder said...

To the anoynmous who made fun of the cancer story (probably the same one as above, I would think): very funny, I admit, but pretty callous, don't you think? Come on! At least sign your name to a swipe like that.

Bruce Hodder said...

To the anoymous who wrote the cancer story:
well, who really is of any service to the living as a mass? Most of us just serve ourselves, getting wrapped up in private grief or self-indulgence, or the piggish search for personal gain. Looked at in the sense of public service, which is one valid measure of the worth of a human being in my opinion, most lives are utterly useless.
I certainly don't want to see the mark God puts on my scorecard when the final whistle blows.
But I'm sorry you lost your aunt in such an unpleasant way. I've been there. I know what it looks like and I know how it feels.

Anonymous said...

HA! I thought the "and it appears you still are" quite funny. I wish I'd been the Anonymous who'd said it.

Thanks, Mr. Hodder. I'll be going to her funeral visitation tomorrow. I'm going in to work and leaving early - and then returning to work later. New bosses don't take kindly to stories of dead relatives, so I thought I'd be as conscientious as possible so it doesn't look like I'm lying about it.