Friday, September 10, 2010

Words of Wisdom


-from the man Himself, aka David Foster Wallace

Why Write?

It is 3:30 A.M. and I find myself wondering why I am who I am; namely, I wonder why I want to be a writer. When asked directly, a strange flood of emotions and apprehensions whirl through my brain. There's a certain amount of shame, and even maybe and a sense of impending doom. Sometimes it feels like at any moment I'm going to be seen for the ignorant, pseudo-intellectual bastard I really am. And I suppose that feeling is something that every creative individual feels at one point or another. But then there's also a feeling that it's right, intuitively speaking.

A psychic once told my mother that I was going to be a writer, and while I tend to be very skeptical of those sorts of things, perhaps it was a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. Before that, it never really occurred to me that one could make a living writing (I still tend to suspend a bit of disbelief on this matter) and maybe it got the ol' noggin working. I don't believe I was destined to be a writer, or anything like that. It would be arrogant and nonsensical to assume that I'm even remotely significant in such a way. No one person is, really.

I think everyone struggles with nihilism in their own way, and I am no different. In a certain way, the fiction writer is a kind of god. They conjure up worlds and control the fate of their characters. In this meaningless, uncaring world, the writer is someone who can make sense of things. But should they? This is certainly what attracts a lot of ego-maniacal sorts to the fold. I will not pretend I am above that sentiment, but I prefer not to look at it that way. The way I write, I don't really feel that I have full control of the plot or my characters. I suppose you could call that a flaw in my writing, but that's just the way it works for me. There is a certain element to the whole thing which is beyond the spectrum of human analysis. It's that mystery which draws me to writing. It occurs to me that there's nothing ironic or remotely funny about this.