On Why I Write

by cynthiarendon

“So what do you do?” “What did you you graduate in?” “What do you dedicate yourself to?”

I constantly hear these questions. And as an unemployed recent j-school graduate, they’re not very pleasant to answer. After an audible sigh, I usually answer, “I write.”

My answer isn’t entirely true. I write when I have to. When it’s a job. My assignments: literature reviews, blog posts, multimedia packets, feature articles . . . , were what I wrote. My graduating meant that I could stop until I got a real job and make writing my full-time gig again. So I guess the true answer to that question should really be, “I wrote . . . and now I frantically look for a full-time job, worry about how I’m gonna pay those loans, and, um, read.”

I often hope for a change of topic after I give my fake answer. A lie leads to another lie, so I attempt to carry the conversation with questions on my end. But for some odd reason, that never works. I don’t know what it is, but people find writers kind of fascinating. I suddenly get bombarded with follow-up questions like,”What have you written?” What do you like to write about?” Why do you write?” Again, another audible sigh as I try to conjure up real-sounding answers.

I want to be real here, so hear goes my real answer. Ahem . . .

“My writing has been sporadic ever since I graduated. I honestly don’t like it much because I find it painful and well, difficult. Words, phrases, sentences that sound good together don’t come to me easily. To tell you what I like to write about would be hard to say. I don’t really like to write about anything. I wish I could do something that was easier. And now that I’m out of work, I really wish I could do something else. I constantly run a list of professions in my head every time I go through that personal crisis.

Could I be a physician?  No.  I can’t go through 10 more years of school.

Lawyer?   No. I don’t like talking that much.

Cop?  I might get shot. Oh yeah, and I weigh 110 lbs. at a whopping 5’0” tall.

Soldier?  I might get shot.

Teacher?  I might get shot, at least here in LA.

So there it is: job after job I always find why the other options are more awful than being a writer. So then I put myself to write. Even a little bit, just to get the juices running. I finish a little something and then I just revel. I did it. It’s not much, but I did it. So I guess you can say I write now, sort of, just for practice. That’s how my blog was born, actually. You should read it. Tell your friends about it.

So there is it. I write because I don’t think I’d be able to do anything else. I write because I want to be one of those people who tell really good stories. I write because it feels so good after I finish.”

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