If I'm writing about writing, I suppose I should write about why I write.
Partly, I suppose, because I like sentences like that. Language is fun. Layout is fun; I like visualising sentences and paragraphs. I like knowing when I want to use italics or bold or underline, when to use uppercase or lowercase, whether I want a comma or a semi-colon, which font I want and how I'm going to place the heading.
I don't write because I feel I have to. I wouldn't go mad if I couldn't write (well, I've not put it to the test). I don't have the characters clammering in my head. I don't miss it when I don't write. I don't feel a desperate need to share my thoughts with the world. I don't need to write.
But I still do, and I always have.
I remember writing a story about foxes on a little black-and-green screen computer. I can't have been more than about six. It was, and I think I realised this even at the time, not very good. If I could remember why I'd sat down to write that story, I'd know why I write now; instead, I can only surmise based on the fact that it was very heavily inspired by Farthing Wood:
If immitation is the highest form of flattery, then I write because I like reading. Simple.
I write for the same reason I made tomato soup cake last week. Because I felt like it. I was inspired (by a recipe, I hasten to add), and I had time, and I wanted to enertain myself. The cake, by the way, was probably the best cake I've ever made, though the icing was a bit of a disaster. If you want the recipe, let me know.
The Dark is very much tomato soup cake. Greenhelm is more of a three course meal, I suppose, and god only knows what the rest is. I enjoy writing far more than I enjoy cooking. Cooking is a chore; it's something I have to do to live. If I had to write to live, I wouldn't enjoy it either. I have no intention of ever becoming solely an author; I need structure in my day to tell me when I'm 'on' and when I'm 'off'. Doing an arts degree hammered that home, but I already knew it from watching my mother work from home. I don't want to be wandering around at ten o'clock at night feeling obliged to work because I 'wasted' the morning cleaning the house (or rather, I would have not cleaned the house because it would have felt like wasting the morning, and spent the time watching TV and feeling guilty instead). I earn money to live from nine to five; I buy food and collect prescriptions and pay council tax on days I'm not at work; I write whenever I have a day I'm not doing either. At the moment, that's not actually very often, but I need to stop accepting quite so many extra days at work (I don't feel bad, because on quiet days I can write at work, but it's just mindless jottings and feels more productive than it actually is).
I like writing best at night, when it's raining, with a candle lit and Einaudi playing. To be honest, I just like being when it's like that, but I'm not good at doing nothing (I prefer to be doing at least two things at once; right now I have five tabs open on firefox and Walking with Monsters on tv and a casserole cooking), and writing is the most context appropriate thing to be doing. I don't like writing after work, unless I've had a hugely inspirational day, and I don't like writing when I've been running around doign prosaic things all day. I don't like writing when I know there's going to be a cut off point, like before work, and I don't like writing when there are guests in the house, even if they aren't here to see me. I don't like writing in silence, but I don't like writing with music with lyrics playing.
Despite all this, I still like writing, and that's why I do it. I like it because I like reading. Immitation - flattery. Writing.