I Don't Know, But I Can't Not Write (Sydney Salter)

Sometimes I wonder what my life would look like if I didn't write (or engage in its necessary companion: reading). Would I make crafts? Knit really cool sweaters? Would my house be really clean? Would I happily work in a cubicle somewhere? Would I wear cute business suits?

Every time I think about doing something else - tour guide, flight attendant, history professor, librarian, bookseller - it still ends with "and then I could write about [fill in the blank]!"

I can't stop writing. Even if I miss a day on my WIP, I still write in my journal every night. I've been doing that for more than three decades. Yet my compulsion to write is the surface answer.

I write to find out.

I love learning so much - about everything and anything - and writing is the best way for me to do that. Being a continuous college student would be too expensive! I don't think I've ever written something that I haven't eagerly researched. I like to learn about the way people live, different times in history, different places in the world - pretty much any topic other than mathematics, although I'm sure I could learn to appreciate that one too, if I gave it a chance. As a writer, I'm not stuck in one particular area of interest - like I might be as a history professor (my current "if I weren't a writer" dream job).

Often I think about how easy it would be, not to be a writer. I wouldn't spend so much time alone, so much time lost in my head - and the compulsion to write never ceases. So many things to write about, so little time!

Throughout my writing journey, I've watched many people stop writing, and I'm always a bit in awe - maybe a bit envious too. But I just can't stop.


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