“So you want to write?” was his accusation. “WHY?”
Stunned, I sat there and let that BIG WHY drip slowly into my psyche like a gutter so imploded with dirty rainwater, it had no other choice than to dump. All I could hear was the echo of this man’s pain, loneliness, frustration and fear that the Next Book would not be a Best Seller.
Are you crazy? he was asking. Why do you want to put yourself through the hell of a high-risk life with few rewards and dubious returns (how many authors really do make the Best Seller List)? Why would anyone want to deal with the agony and ecstasy of 1) writer’s block, 2) jealous colleagues, and 3) pandering fans?
My answer came back loud and clear… in fact so loud and clear, I’ve never forgotten that classroom moment nor the dreamy “lounge chair visionary” experience that preceded it. Here is my response to the big WHY: Because....
I cannot not write.
Incidentally, this creative writing professor in his tweed jacket with leather elbow patches never met the class again after that first session—which ended as soon as he’d volleyed his two questions. Out the door he walked and was unavailable thereafter either for class or office hours.
I didn’t mind. He’d served his purpose simply by delivering that all-important “WHY?” question that motivated me to ask “Why not?”
I had fallen in love with the Muse and knew from that time on that I was going to become a professional writer.