I saw this on Twitter and immediately soul punched the air. I knew I wanted to write about it. I mean, first of all, GDT is the realest. I love that this came from him.
I don’t want to insult anyone. That is not the point of this. If anything, I’m insulting myself for being soulless and unemotional. The reason this spoke to me is because it really is the reason I write. I’ve seen and heard people being asked why they write. The answers often make me think of someone grasping their pearls, or their fedora, or their hearts when they proclaim it’s because the voices in their heads tell them to, that if they don’t they will die, that they must express their inner turmoil, that they are moved to speak to the masses. I’m not saying those aren’t good reasons to write.
I admit I’ve said some of those things, when I was younger and idealistic and actually, you know, had dreams. I may have even meant it. But it wasn’t true. I just thought it should be. I’m not moved to speak to the masses. I don’t actually have voices in my head. Maybe it’s the same difference, but my stories are visual rather than verbal. I don’t know that gothic tales of derring do, now matter how well I write them, will have any cultural or ethical impact on our times. I don’t know that they need to.
I write cuz I like stories.
My favorite kind of story is the kind where you leave our world and travel to some other world that sucks less. I don’t care much for things described as “contemporary” unless there’s you know, a vampire in there. The rare contemporary I read is usually quirky or scary. I love fantasy because it’s a whole new world every time you crack open a new series. What I’m saying is, I’m about the genre. My stories usually start with a world and then I populate that world with the characters and stories that belong there. I have often wondered if that is enough. I mean, shouldn’t I strive to be LITERARY?! Isn’t that the whole point of being a WRITER?
I don’t think so.
I think it’s ok if you just want to create worlds and go explore them, as long as you do your best to make the stories new and original, even when you use tropes. I think it’s ok if you don’t want to be Hemingway or Steinbeck. And it doesn’t mean that genre, or plot driven stories don’t have literary worth, or deep themes, or that they don’t “say something” about life and what it is to be human. Life and humanity are important. Love is important. Fear is important. Wonder, dread, hope and existentialism….. all this stuff can be felt and explored and I wanna do it somewhere far from the Suburban, California.
And I’m totally ok with that. I just hope some people will want to come explore with me.