Why Do I Write?

Monday was a struggle. Today wasn’t much better. Now, I’m sprawled on the sofa with my calico cat Zuzu curled up, purring, and drooling on my leg. I’ve got a glass of bourbon in my hand as I scroll my social media feeds. The windows are open, allowing the crisp, cool March air and the sounds of Spanish Town, a neighborhood filled with eclectics, eccentrics, and emergent artists to provide the soundtrack to this blog. Children play in their yards. Neighbors talk around a fire pit. An elderly man sits on his stairs and plays classical guitars for the plethora of neighborhood cats. My mind finally awakens, and my spirit calms.

On my Twitter, the common refrain I see from the Writing Community hashtag is “Why do you write?” And so, today, I’m going to answer that question.

I write, because I’ve always written. And that’s true. I’ve always written, even as a child. But that’s not a satisfactory answer. I’ve always had stories to tell, and I’ve told them through building with my LEGOs, playing with my toys, writing stories, and playing tabletop RPGs. I love stories. I love consuming them. I love telling them. I love sharing them. Stories are essential to my life.

But why?

The patent, cliche answer is I’ve got a story to tell! And that’s true, but it’s true for everyone. All humans have a story to tell. Each of us has lived a life filled with experiences that are both unique to us and common to the grand tableau of humanity. Each of us can and should tell our story to others. That’s part of being human.

I could talk about writing to make a difference, to bring about change. My dissertation focused on mental illness, PTSD, suicide, and how we talk about heroism as a point of intersection. Some of the themes of my novels include combating bigotry, exposing the seedy underbelly of polite society, etc. These aren’t new themes, but I hope I’m giving them new dressing an updating their presentation so as to be meaningful to others. I hope my writing brightens someone’s day or makes them think about an issue in a way that leads to positive change.

But that’s not really why I write.

I write because I have to. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression throughout my life, and I’ve found the times when those issues are most manageable, even with therapy and medication, are when I am writing something. Writing gives me a place to purge my mind of the negative thoughts and emotions that like to sit around the campfire in my brain and tell stories. Their stories stay inside my head, and we all know how dangerous having those negative thoughts, emotions, and stories playing on repeat can be. Writing helps me purge myself of those feelings.

And in the end, I can finish a piece of writing with a scene of hope. Hope that, even when today was shit, tomorrow just might be better. Even a little bit better. And that hope helps me get through another day.

I write, because I have to. I write, because writing is life.

What about you? Writers, artists, musicians, creatives of all stripes, why do you create?

Promotional Hype

My debut novel, Liam’s Doom, is on sale at all major and minor retail outlets from Amazon to Barnes & Noble to Bookshop.org. I request that you support Bookshop.org, as their site supports local and independent bookstores. The eBook is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through my webstore.

Carmilla’s Ghost is now on sale. The paperback version is available all major online retailers, including AmazonBookshop.org and at Barnes & Noble. Currently, eBook pre-orders are only available at Amazon and through my webstore.

It Hungers (formerly Stone Cold), the third book in the series is currently available for pre-order as an ebook on Amazon. Paperback preorders go through my website and will all be autographed! The book will officially release on 3 May 2022.

My prequel novel, Blood/Lust is also available as an Amazon exclusive. Starting this Friday, Blood/Lust will be free to purchase on Kindle for five days!