Sunday, November 4, 2012

Philosophical Questions for A Writer

A question a writer asks is: Why write? I told someone the other day, "I would never encourage someone to become a writer." My cynicism for pursuing a career as a writer was running high. Believe me, there are easier ways to make money and feel validated.

Then I focused a little on that last part: validation. Such a loaded word. We all need it. We all attempt to get more of it. We have egos, and anyone with blood pumping has a brain wired to seek it. But, I have had to let the desire for validation go. In essence, life isn't a gift to me that comes wrapped in a silken bow of validation. Neither is it guaranteed or promised by the divine or the mortal (e.g. anyone who loves you unconditionally). It is a human construct tied to our need to feel like we are somebody.

So have I really let "it" go? Validation? I'm practicing. I am writing and pursuing publication while trying to hold on less to the outcome. For the record, I'm not writing that much fiction. I'm actually writing more non-fiction these days for pay. And yes, the pay is validation. And when my editor, when I hand in a solid story or two, writes back immediately, "I want to marry you," that is validation. But I am not writing for the pay or the nice comments. I'm writing because I like to write. Because when I am in the middle of crafting a sentence, any sentence, I am in the middle of a creative process that takes me out of my troubles and the mundane flow. It is good to be in the words. There, there, is where I choose to place my life.


  1. Beautifully said. I want to marry you, Jennifer.

  2. you make me laugh, Marjorie. thanks for taking a troll of my blog this a.m. so that it feels a little less like i'm shouting into the wind.


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