The next few posts are going to be reposts of blogs I’ve written on other blogging platforms in the past, because I’ve started and abandoned way too many blogs to count.
Why Write? – Past post 3/? – Originally posted at kristinekim.blogspot.com (which will be deleted in the future), August 26, 2010.
In my time roaming about the cyber world of writer/agent/author/editor/reader blogs, I’ve come across this question at least once: Why write if what we put into the world won’t be remembered past our lifetime?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think any true writer can say, at least when they start writing/are the the midst of selling of novel, that the novel they wrote will be “an instant classic” or something that teachers will shove at their students to understand the depth of “real literature.” J.D. Salinger didn’t sit down and say, “I think I’ll write a goddam book today that will influence tons of goddam teenagers and be taught in goddam phony schools everywhere.” Or, maybe he did, but I highly doubt it. No author expects to be the subject of school essays, and to even have a place in what book lists would call “great American literature”. Some aren’t even necessarily comfortable with flirting with the concept; after the success of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Harper Lee never published another book. Heck, she had never even expected the book to sell, and was bracing herself for scathing reviews.
So… why write?
I write stories that might not be remembered past my lifetime because of the things that I’ll never expect. And because of the things I do expect.
People like stories. People like the feeling they get when they hear or read stories. Countless times, I have seen agents or literary interns posting on Twitter lamenting the themes and morals that authors throw around in their queries, while all the agents want to know is plot, plot, plot. They want to know what’s happening in your story, not what you want to teach the world. As a writer, my intent in eventually becoming published is to share something with the world, and have a voice in my take on things. I like to make people laugh and to feel. Whether that will be to an audience of five or an audience in a classroom fifty years from now that I may never meet, it doesn’t matter. I write because I like to share. I write because I love stories, and if I can add to readers’ stories, all the better.
This post isn’t really entirely coherent. I hope it is to you.
You never know what will happen. Why write something that won’t be remembered after you died, or even while you’re still alive? Because it’s there, and it’s happening. And you never know what may happen in the future.
So, lovely readers, I pose you the same question:
Why do you bother to write when your stories may not even be remembered in the future?