For me, that’s akin to asking a person why they love to have sex. The answer is obvious. Because sex is one of those fab things that humans can do that feels good and it’s free [generally].
But I think that’s too simple because not everyone enjoys writing and most adult humans enjoy sex [generally].
So the other night, I’m watching one of those highly informative news shows. I don’t recall which one as they get jumbled in my head because they’re all trying to accomplish the same thing: to scare the crap out of me with world-ending weather predictions, terrorist attacks, pervs on the Internet and baby sellers on e-Bay. I was dozing a bit so they must have covered the End of the World segment and I was gently coaxed from my snooze by a reference to “sudden and profound bursts of creativity” associated with a strange mental disorder. Huh? What was that?
Although I caught it mid-snore, I was intrigued. It told the story of one unfortunate man who became inexplicably obsessed with speaking and writing in rhyming verse. A strange uneasiness set in as I reached for my laptop. I wrote some notes. I wrote some more notes. I went on-line, hoping I wouldn’t run into any nasty pervs or terrorists with futuristic weather machines and Googled “bursts of creativity AND disorder”. What I got was a lesson on hypergraphia. It is characterized as “a driving compulsion to write”… about anything and everything ON anything and everything. Okay…so what’s wrong with that? I mean, writing is a good thing, isn’t it? Without writing, we wouldn’t have books and books are good except, according to Sarah Palin, those nasty, objectionable ones she wanted removed from her local library.
I was starting to get an uneasy feeling about this news show segment. Maybe I was just dreaming. Maybe I wasn’t really understanding the magnitude of what was being said. So what if you wake up in the middle of the night and reach for a Sharpie and a roll of toilet paper? It’s no big deal. So what if I carry a can of spray paint in my car and cruise around at midnight looking for bare, concrete structures? It’s just writing. That’s all. Just a bunch of words strung together on the refrigerator or across the pristine white fur of my neighbor’s samoyed that someday may or may not turn into stories with a recognizable beginning, middle and end. I’m not worried. Besides, I wasn’t like that guy who wanted to rhyme all the time! Rhyme, rhyme, it’s not a crime! I can stop this any time! And furthermore, I don’t believe the rubbish on that lame blog I ran across that said in order to be a good writer, you have to be a little mentally ill.