We Write Because it’s Who We Are
I wrote an introduction for the twelfth episode of the podcast I created and co-host called The Process. It was meant to be a point of reference for some friends who’d found the journey to published comics a difficult path and were ready to throw in the towel. When I finished writing the piece, I realized it was just as much for me as anyone else out there who tuned in. Here’s the write up. For those who want to hear it read with some nice dramatic music, here’s the actual podcast.
We Write Because It’s Who We Are
Panel 1. Over head shot. A self deprecating writer clutches a greasy grilled cheese as ice cold water splashes over his shivering body. He’s crying, but the water masks the tears… and the pain.
I write because no one really understands sandwiches like I do.
Panel 2. A young man sits on the floor of his bedroom, back against the closed door. His head is bowed, his eyes are closed. He grabs the hair at the side of his head, as though ready to rip his scalp from his skull. The lettering drifts from the small crack between the door and frame, tumbling down towards him and swirling around his head. His partner is driving him mad.
I write because it’s the only voice I have.
Panel 3. This woman, a smouldering beauty with dark eyes, stares to the camera from across a crowded room. Her gaze cuts through the mass of people as though there is a kinetic power to her brilliance that no force on earth could repel. She’s wearing a playful smile, inviting us closer. Beckoning us into her story, daring us to follow.
I write because I love her.
Panel 4. He stands, hunched over a register, blank and broken. His finger is pressing the same button it presses day in and day out. Cash. There is a line of 20 people, all wearing the same hollow expression. Everything outside of this destroyed cashier and his zombie consumer horde is blank. There is no background, no colour, only a slab of infinite grey, white and black.
I write because it makes me come alive when everything else fails.
What are your reasons for writing? Why do you do it?
If you knew right now, with absolute certainty, that you would never see your creative work put to paper by a publisher, would you give up that part of yourself completely?
I ask that question because I almost did, once. I gave myself a deadline, I promised that if this didn’t all pan out by the time I was thirty that it was time to admit I didn’t have what it took and to accept my fate.
I’m going to let you in on a secret.
I didn’t almost give up. The truth is I completely gave up. I got so sick of trying that I didn’t type a single sentence for almost a year. I hated writing and everything it made me feel about myself. Like a fucking failure.
Then, one day, something happened to me, something painful and I had nowhere to turn. I sat down and I wrote it out in a fictional place with fictional characters. I didn’t do it to get published. I didn’t do it with the intent of anything more than letting my voice live again. It wasn’t long before stories spilled out of me and the passion returned.
I wasn’t writing with a deadline anymore. I was writing because I’m a goddamn writer. I always will be, even if everything falls apart and I never have a published comic again.
I will always write.
Ryan K. Lindsay will always write.
Jeremy Holt will always write.
Today we discuss why.