Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Write Stuff

This was my week 4 assignment for Blogger Idol 2011: "Why do you write/what does it mean to you?"

Why do I write? That's like asking why I breathe. I can't help but to write. I need it to survive.

Writing is my catharsis. I want to let out my aggravations to put them behind me.

When I witness something out of the ordinary, or I find something extraordinary in the ordinary, I need to write about it. Whether I am happy or sad, angry or frustrated, writing is my outlet. I want to share my joys and document them forever. 
Nothing can stop me from writing

I need to see it written. Sometimes my hands can't type fast enough. That's how passionate I am about writing.

And yes, I want to become a blogger with a huge following and ink a book deal and all of that. So, there is part of me that does it for some kind of validation. To stay relevant at least to a modest group of followers in this gigantic world. Maybe I think what I have to say matters. That it might make someone's day or change someone's perspective.

I am also grossly self-absorbed, needy, and narcissistic. This is also why I write. 

Sometimes your writing won't be received the way you wanted it to be, the way you expected it to be. These times are borderline devastating.

On the other hand, when a piece that you're not crazy about gets rave reviews, it's exhilarating.

Good or bad, there is no time I feel more vulnerable as a writer than when I know one of my pieces is out there being read for the first time.

I experience this every day, not only in my writing, but also in my job as a television news producer. I am fortunate that I get to do a lot of writing at work. I challenge myself to be funny, or interesting, or both. I want to captivate my audience. I want to compel them to sit through that three and a half minute commercial because you absolutely have to find out the one thing you need to leave at home if you're traveling with a child this summer. (Don't worry, the answer is at the bottom.)

There are times when I think I've nailed something I wrote for my show, and in the commercial break my anchor will look into the camera and simply say, "that didn't make any sense." And I want to jump through the screen from my seat in the control room and smack him. But maybe he's right. Sometimes he is.

The beauty of writing, and of working in television news, is that there is always another piece to write or another show to produce tomorrow. So it's non-stop. You're always getting another chance.

It's also so subjective. The same amount of people can love and hate this piece. I want to high five the people who love it and ask them what they loved about it. I want to shake the people who hate it by the lapels and ask them what they hated about it. I want to try again, harder, for both groups tomorrow.

Writing is a part of me. As a boy I would go on adventures with my imaginary friends. As a teenager I would write song parodies to "Piano Man" based on our drunken escapades on the weekends. I've written wedding vows and eulogies. When I finally decided to propose to my wife, I wrote her a poem that contained a scavenger hunt that led to me with the engagement ring. I now write my wife blog posts instead of birthday cards. And I take the two or three lines that I write in a wedding card, a graduation card, a sympathy card very seriously. I want it to be memorable.

As for the one thing you need to leave at home when you're traveling with a child this summer: it's the word "no." I wrote about that here.

Writing. It's what I do.

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