This post has been re-blogged from Cristian Mihai.
My home country of Romania is last in the European Union when it comes to reading books. The book market here is the stuff of nightmares for any writer.
What do these two sentences mean?
I shouldn’t be able to do what I do. I shouldn’t have attempted it. And I don’t think that you ever gave it a thought while reading my posts.
My parents never read a single thing I wrote because my words are foreign to them. They never read my stories or novels. Odds are, they never will. They never understood my dream of becoming a writer. Nor did they encourage it. But they also didn’t try to talk me out of it. Too often.
To be a writer in Romania is some sort of eccentric pastime. Something like that. I wanted to make it into a career. I wanted to be great, to reach levels of mastery that require of you that you hold the world on your shoulders from time to time.
I lost track of how many people told me that I couldn’t, I shouldn’t. Many more told me to just be realistic.
Realist has always sounded to me as cutting down your own wings, forever giving up on your dream of flying because you are afraid you’d fall down a couple times.
A decade or so ago, I’d write something, and I’d be proud of it, and I’d want to share it with the world, and there would be absolutely no one willing to read my words. Other times, they’d hate it. I cried myself to sleep more times than I can count.
Insults make you angry, indifference breaks one’s heart.
That’s why your why is important.
Why do you do what you do?
Why do you blog, if you do? Why do you write? Why do you create art? Why do you have that business?
You need to know your why, and it has to be strong enough to fuel your passion, to fuel your capacity to sacrifice, to be patient, to fight all those losing battles and to somehow emerge victorious.
Does your why make you cry?
When I was thirteen years old or so, I read Dune by Frank Herbert. And I was certain that was the most beautiful thing ever written into existence. I would have given anything for the chance to write such a story. And then I read The Great Gatsby, and I fell in love with the written word even more.
And each book made me fall in love with the way stories made me feel. And I wanted to make others feel the same way.
I’ve always believed that words are powerful. Incredibly so. Words have the power to make us forget who we are, where we are. We forget the world around us.
We read about people who are like us and wish to be different, or we read about people who are who we’d like to be and we summon enough courage to try to become like them.
We read about love, success, failure, heartbreak, life and death, and we understand the world around us better.
They say that when one person tells a story to another, both the listener and the speaker, their hearts start beating in sync.
It’s as if the universe isn’t made of atoms, but of stories. It’s made of all the stories ever written into existence, of all the stories we wrote about ourselves, of all the stories we wrote knowing that they’d never come true while secretly wishing they would, somehow, someday, come to life.
But we know for a fact that we’re made of stories. The story of who we are, of what we love, of who we loved and lost and have never stopped hoping they’d return to us.
That is my why. That’s why I write, why I blog. This is why I am writing these words that you are now reading.
In other words, I write because I exist. And it’s nice to live, to feel, to love, to eat, to breathe… but it’s equally beautiful to let others know that you exist.
Some days I fear that if I ever stop writing, I’d no longer exist.
That’s my why. And, yes, it does make me cry. It does make me feel like there’s something magic in the act of writing about imaginary people in such a way that others fall in love with them.
I like to write about the impossible and let my readers wish it into existence with their tears.
I write because the beauty that resides in my soul needs to find a proper home. I write because the beauty around me needs to be read about by those who might have missed it. I write because it’s my goal to bring a bit of comfort to the disturbed, and maybe disturb a bit those who are too comfortable.
Your why has to be so strong that you’d do what you do even if you’d never earn a single dollar from it or a word of praise. Your why has to be so strong that you’d do it even if the world would constantly belittle your ambitions.
Your why has to be so strong that you’d be willing to live for your dream, to breathe this dream like air, to give up comfort, sleep, and food for it, to die for it.
This is the way of the world.
Do or die.
Succeed or fail.
Your why determines whether you want it or kind of want it.
I suggest that you should want it, that you should find a why that makes you cry, a why that is so strong that you do everything as if your life depends on your dream coming true.
Because your life does depend on your dream coming true or not.
Such a moving post, Kathleen! You write so beautifully that another addition to your list of whys can be that the world needs to read your work. More power to you <3