Reasons Why I Write

I write everyday. For love. For money. For professional curiosity. Mostly, I write everyday, because I can’t stop. My name is Amy, and I’m an addict. They say that’s what makes a writer. I don’t know who they are, and like any art, I don’t know that one can qualify as a writer just by quantifying a body of work.

In the age of the internet, getting publish isn’t the end goal it once was. Hardcover and paperback are old-school now. People want to go viral. Going viral opens doors. Going viral leads to book deals. Going viral is how people skip graduate school debt and eventually find themselves on the discount shelf at Barnes and Noble. Going viral makes me sick.

It is both a pipe dream and a goal that something I write on the internet will change my life, by going viral.

That statement is heartbreaking. It makes me want to punch myself in the face for even writing it, because it makes me a total asshat. I want to write with the hope something I say will change someone else’s life. But, if it never goes viral, how much of the world can I change?

If there are words on the screen, and no one reads them, were they ever there at all?

So, I find myself between a rock (my couch) and a hard place (my Macbook Air) waiting for the right words to find their way from the alphabet soup in my brain to the pixelated page. And it’s exhausting. So much time is wasted thinking, “Is this it? Are these the words that will change my life, because they changed yours?” There are so many other things I could be doing with my time. I could finally learn how to kayak. Or maybe take a cooking class so I can stop living off gluten free granola bars. Or, I could just read a good book, with the hopes it will change my life.

The problem is, I won’t do any of these things. Instead, I will torture myself with words, ill placed punctuation, and an infinite hope I’m one paragraph closer to unlocking some secret achievement qualifying me as a voice worth reading.