Why I Write

It’s pretty simple really. It’s because Ben Franklin told me to.

My one goal in life is to make an impact. I don’t want to be forgotten. There’s not a thing worse, to me, than having nothing tangible to tie you to this world after you are dead. So, I took Ben Franklin’s quote to heart. I have to do something to preserve a legacy. Either I can do something amazing and be revered for it. But’s that fickle and flimsy. Whose to say the things I do are worth writing about? Who will want to pen the tale of Jameson Croteau? No one, that’s who.

So I made it simple. I’ll cut out the middle man. I’ll write the story I want to tell. Put in permanent ink. Letting the world dot my i’s and cross my t’s would be foolish, foppish, and, in my opinion, very selfish. If I want something, I should go and get it.

But enough melodrama.

I have a second caveat to being a writer. Not surprisingly another quote fits here. Carl Sagan said of books and of writing: “What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

I believe what Carl says is true. The ability to evoke feelings in others with no more than squiggle marks on a page is some Hogwarts shit. Perhaps even some Merlin level magic. Not the rabbit-out-of-the-hat type of deal, but the rabbit, his spouse, their two and a half kids (we’ll discuss the age old notion of ‘breeding like rabbits’ later. It’s a highly moot point despite the scientific facts), a white picket fence, and a nice house in suburban America out of the hat type of wizardry.

The ability to connect to someone you’ll never see, never meet, never breathe the same air as, is nothing short of phenomenal. Its a miracle really, to have a source of magic readily at every literate person’s fingertips. Its a shame so few have neither the passion nor the talent for it. I was fortunate enough to be given a very high concentration the former and a half teaspoon douse of the latter.

And I’ve always wanted to be a wizard.