Monday, August 31, 2009

Why Do I Write?

School is back in session today.  I sent Christian off to middle school (even though he can't possibly be old enough), Max off to first grade (even though he can't possibly be old enough), and Ryan off to be a professor (even though he can't possibly be old enough). 
 
As for me, I'm going back to school as well.  (And you can too!  Check out the details here.)  My first assignment is to write about why I write.  And since I am pressed for time, I'm going to spill my thoughts here with no editing.  Which is usually the best way to write anyway.

On Friday night, Ryan and I went to see Julie & Julia.  Ryan was skeptical before the movie started because the average age of the other patrons in the theatre was roughly 113-years-old.  I began crying about 2/3 of the way through the movie and didn't stop until about three hours after it ended.  And to be perfectly honest, it wasn't my favorite movie ever-ever-ever, but not because it wasn't a great movie--it was a great movie.   The problem was that instead of becoming lost in the movie (like my other favorites), I became involved in the movie--a third story line in my own head.  There was just too much that related to my  own thoughts and dreams that I almost stood up in the theatre to perform my own monologue:

You see, everybody, I would say, I too have dreams of doing something special with my life! And like Julia Child and Julie Powell, I too am a thirty-something middle-class white woman who is inspired and empowered by other people who follow their dreams!  I'm watching these stories here and I GET this.  I mean, I really, really GET this!  Right down to my toenails, I GET this--the angst, the hope, the impossible dreams!  I, too, have spent countless hours blogging (and eating), wondering all the while if it is a complete waste of time despite a nagging hope that it might be the most important and meaningful endeavor of my life.  And someday you might return to this very theatre (unless, of course, you pass away first, my elderly friends) and watch the true story about how I was inspired by Julie who was inspired by Julia and how I was also inspired by Julia who was inspired by her love of French food and how I turned all that inspiration into a bestselling novel about a worried little boy who blogs about butter and cream sauces!  It's the circle of life, geezers, and I am a WRITER!  And, okay, I'm kind of second-guessing some of those details about the novel, but the point is that I want to announce right here and right now that I am a WRITER!  An all-caps WRITER!  Not just a copywriter, but a writer-writer!   And it doesn't matter that I don't have a publisher, an agent or even a good handle on using semi-colons!  I'm a writer, dammit, a WRIIIIIITERRRRRRRRR! 

But I didn't stand up and give my monologue, interrupting the wonderful movie.  And I certainly didn't announce to a theatre full of senior citizens that I'm a writer.  (I mean, it's one thing to interrupt a movie, but just imagine the nerve of calling myself a writer!)  

Instead, I just sat and cried and cried and cried.  We walked out of the theatre and I cried while Ryan used the bathroom.  We walked to our car, buckled up and drove in the rain while I cried.  Ryan asked me to express my thoughts--such is the charge of psychologist husbands--but I couldn't find the words.  They don't come out of my mouth very well; they never have.  Words come out of my fingertips.  So I cried all the way home and Ryan squeezed my hand until it could find the words.  

And days later, I have an assignment.  Why do I write?  Because Julia loved butter.  Because Ricky loved Lucy.  Because Forrest loved to run.  Because the sky is blue.  Because my feet are small.  Because life is beautiful.  Because I used to have a bathroom made of dry-erase boards.  Because I was bullied.  Because I fell in love.  Because I became a mother.  Because I'm self-absorbed.  Because my hair is curly.  Because my eyes are brown.  Because I used to hate dogs.  Because I love to laugh.  Because I went fishing once in the rain.  Because I want to be thinner.  Because I love everyone.  Because I hate everyone.  Because I sleep with one foot sticking out of the covers.  Because injustice makes me worry.  Because I dance in the kitchen.  Because, because, because.

That's why.  That's exactly why.

27 comments:

Soul-Fusion said...

so perfectly expressed. I've been tossing this concept around in my head all day and have come up blank. I somehow have no words for this assignment and then here are yours - so inspirational. Reading the books gave me this exact feeling - I just don't have the courage or the focus to funnel all that inspiration into any one thing - let alone my writing. Looking forward to that story about the boy who likes butter and cream sauces.

Becky said...

And that is why those of us who have been reading your work for years have wondered, "Why doesn't this lady write a book?!" You are truly blessed with the talent to express your feelings with the written word! You get an A++ in my book! Well done my friend!

Artax said...

Those are all very good reasons. I give you an A, too.

Anonymous said...

If you write it I will read it, without a doubt, and maybe twice.

Anonymous said...

That anonymous was me. -James

dalene said...

"because, because, because." i get that. i really do.

shannon p. said...

If there were technical difficulties during the movie, your monologue would have been perfect! Thanks for sharing - it sounds like a great movie, but I'm way more excited about your book!!!

Kristina P. said...

Why can't I get a movie made from my blog?!?!

hannah said...

wonderful post...and i agree that you are a writer. a wonderful writer!

Travelin'Oma said...

Oh, I love this post! I feel just the same way, and it's so awesome to find others who are as obsessed and self-conscious and inspired and can express it. The blogosphere is like a club for writers.

Really Wild West Mama said...

Just keep following your dream Tiffany!

All of US are sitting on the edges of our seats just waiting till you get that book finished!!!

PS This is off topic, but....I'm just curious....WHY do they put those weird words at the end of our comments....where we "publish our comments on blogs"??

Jesse C said...

You are a writer, dammit.

The Coolest Allen Family said...

Beautiful and inspiring!

I'm A. said...

This was a really great post. I loved it. And, I felt the same way while watching Julie & Julia. Something about it...

Miss M said...

Tiff, I've been waiting for a post like this from you for a long time. I've ALWAYS loved your writing. I miss my visits to the WBWG where I was in awe of the talent in that room. Thanks for the inspiration.

Kate said...

I wish I could blog "d****t" and get away with it.

I'm a writer too. I totally get it. Because. Just because.

Lindy-Lou said...

I loved the movie. And at your age and up until a decade or two beyond, I would have cried uncontrollably as well. The thing is maybe I did this time, but I can't remember for sure. The point is NOW is the time to write that book. I really miss my mind.

Mindi said...

i love you, tiffany.

you just express what all of us 'would-be writers' feel deep down inside.

because, who are we kidding? most of us think we have the gift of the pen because we still keep on, keeping ON.

i believe in you. AND you have free psycoanalysis (yes, i slaughtered that one) to boot. bravo!

MiaKatia said...

I would say that I envy you, your cute curly hair, your sense of humor, your touching and moving ability to express the things that pour through your heart and race through your mind... but envy seems negative and spiteful (and I feel none of that). So instead I will sit here with the comment box open thinking of a better word ( or five). You encourage, inspire, uplift, motivate, and move me. And of course probably my favorite of them all you make me laugh!

Tiffany said...

I like your becauses.

Angie said...

You are a writer Tiff.

It's remarkable that you, as a writer, are so supportive and kind with other writers. Most of the time when a person is something or wants something they are competitive about it, and unwilling to encourage anyone else. I was always amazed when at your writer's guild meetings by how complimentary and encouraging you were. You've always encouraged me. It's a beautiful quality, very generous, and I think that this along with your real talent will be the key to your success.

brandy said...

I found your blog from Travelin' Oma's blog. And I love it! You have such a gift for writing and expressing yourself. I can't wait to read more. Thanks.

Kellybee said...

Tiff, you've always had that special something. I think you are a great writer. Just keep doing it. One day, you will be entertaining millions!

autumn said...

Excellent post.

Krista said...

I like you. I always enjoy reading your blog.

Shannon said...

I cried during Julie and Julia too. For many of the same reasons.

bside_ink said...

Aww this is precious :) Yes writing is a part of you, when I think of writing I think of you. Seriously! You are amazing!

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