Thursday, 30 July 2009
Writing? Huh? Wha? Why?
She said, "But why? Why do you want to be a writer?"
Because I get to have a voice. Because I get to have something to say and I get to say it. I get to create the world I want through putting words on a page. And maybe, just maybe, some people might like those words, they might relate to those words. And maybe those words will change them a little. Maybe a story about dreaming will make a little girl dream a little bit more, maybe a script about war will make someone care a little bit more, maybe a film about imagination will make a bunch of people feel inspired at least just a little bit more.
I write because if I just take things in and experience them, they'll get polluted with my judgements and belief systems, whereas if I turn what I think and feel into some kind of words, then it takes on meaning. And if I work hard enough on myself I can rid myself of those judgements and tear through the belief systems and then what will come out on the page is pure truth. Truth like Jimmy Stewart's voice, truth like Tom Hanks' eyes, truth like Marylin Monroe's body, truth like Billy Wilder's dialogue.
I could not write. I could try that. I could keep clicking on people's Facebook profiles and I could argue with someone in the street and work in a job I hate, but I'd rather do this. I'd rather live by inspiration-- I'd rather something just hit me out of nowhere and feel it say "Hey! I am an idea! Take a look at me! See if we get along! Dance with me baby! Come on, throw me down on that page. Give me some letters, give me some words."
When people say "Why do you write?"
I'm gonna say "Why do you have that ugly look on your face? You'd be a lot more beautiful if you said "You write, that's amazing!"
I write because a tree is just a tree. But once you get an idea of a tree, you can turn the tree into anything. You can imagine a beautiful woman sitting on that tree, you can write about the beautiful sunset behind the tree, you can do whatever you want with that damn tree. You see that tree outside your window right now? It's been sitting there for years and apart from when you jumped off it as a kid it hasn't had much reason to be there. But if you have that picture in your head when you write a script, that tree could take on a life of it's own. It could be the kind of tree that Forrest and Jenny would sit on, or a tree that the boys from Stand By Me would like . Before you know it the tree outside your window that inspired you is part of something sitting on some desk in Hollywood that's making some balding Executive think, "this is a movie!".
What people forget when they pull an ugly and say "A writer? What? Why?" is that anything any of us have ever been excited by or inspired by has usually come from a writer. A book you loved, a song you sung, a movie that scared you, a love letter that made you cry, a poem that changed you. This is all at the hands of some writer.
I don't care if you're a successful screenwriter, a hilarious twitter-updater, a novellist or a speech writer. Whatever you are, be proud that you do what you do. Take those letters, take those words; do something with them. Write a movie, write a love letter, write a text message, write yourself a note.
It's the write thing to do.