To get surprised, and mostly…
because you can.
Writing is a common human activity subject to all the judgments and misconceptions we hold about what makes “art.” Don’t forget, it is people who make art. Regular people, like you and like me.
Writing attracts and spooks at the same time. I happen to think that a good thing. It can be intimate and revealing, (the spooky part) but at the same time it is a craft with solid trustworthy principles that can be taught. Like most art, writing is romanticized out of all proportion. Creativity is made up of puzzling paradoxical elements: talent, plus the ordinary and consistent demands of really hard work. The first impulse to write, perform, paint, dance, sculpt, compose slam you with the same power of falling in love. Irresistable. Thrilling. Addictive. But craft, the second cousin, seems plodding, colorless and tedious; easily dismissed. Still, it is key to respecting, protecting and nurturing this mysterious blessing and making it last. They need each other.
Sometimes one is drawn to writing by a little nugget of an idea that simply keeps tugging or, just as often, by a large sweeping concept making outsized demands. “Small,” seems as if it might not be worth it and “large” feels overwhelming. Both deserve the right kind of attention. Each runs the risk of never seeing the light of day because of unrealistic expectations dragged up from all sorts of places; childhood, the media, commerce. “Expectation” is Novocain to creativity. Writing is worth it, not because it’s going to fulfill your dreams, make you a chunk of change but because it is born in the “what if” of your mind, the place where your imagination is crazy with intention and desire.
So, you need to go a little crazy too and give it a shot. What could be better or more fun?
Who knows? There might be a little money and for sure, a little dream.