Why I Spend Inordinate Amounts of Time Writing

Some people measure their lives in numbers, places visited, or lovers had. You can say that I measure mine in written words.

I write every day.

I do it in the morning, for myself.

And then I do it in the afternoon for others.

And sometimes I do it here, for you.

I like writing for writing’s sake.

And I feel privileged to be one of those people who can make a living writing. It’s not at all bad for a high-school dropout who read almost nothing during his childhood except for Batman comics and Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days.

I’ve been writing for so many years now, that it’s become a habit—I write as I breathe.

If I don’t write one morning for at least an hour or two, I feel unwell.

I like words on a white page, handwriting or typing them—often, I don’t know where words will take me, and that’s part of the fun.

I also like learning about all sorts of things by writing about them.

Read about things, and you get an idea about them—but write about them, and you make them your own.

This is a good time to be a freelance writer. To have your own small business.

It’s one of those jobs for which you don’t have to breathe through a facemask for eight hours a day.

And you can say no whenever you want to.

It’s true that when you work for yourself, you can’t fall in love with your boss anymore.

But I’ll tell you about her some other time—it’s a story for another day.

She was, to some extent, what kept me away from the me that I used to be, and that now I am remembering again.

I write myself alive every day, but you see, I’m not keen on publishing my manuscripts. At least not yet.

Maybe I’m not ready to part with them.

I like sharing them with others now and then. It pleases me when people say it pleases them.

But to send them out there into the world… Maybe they are children still, and I worry that the world may be harsh with them.

Nor do I don’t want to be one of those authors who self-publish a book a month.

I feel I would be a bit of a fraud to try to publish a book now.

You know why?

Because I often wander into bookstores, and I pick this book and that, and I leaf through it, but I leave without buying it. Or any other book for that matter.

I read dead authors.

Most of the works of dead authors are in the public domain.

I can grab them on my Kindle Paperwhite for free.

Don’t get started with how reading on a device cannot compare to reading a physical book.

Yes, you don’t feel the paper and you don’t smell the ink.

But I like to feel the bark of trees and smell their leaves.

To publish books is to murder trees. Have you ever considered that?

Ideally, I’d like people to find my manuscripts after my death.

I’d like my manuscripts to give people a better idea of who I was.

Because appearances are deceiving.

And also because a lot of my life happened on paper, in between the things that happened to me out there in the world.

Writing all the time is a questionable business, I grant.

There are other ways to pass the time, to earn money, to meet people.

Writing all the time verges on madness.

Why write when not writing is often easier?

Maybe because writing is just another way to live?

Writing is meditation and the end of all contradictions.

It’s making dreams come true on paper, too.

It’s not about making stuff up. Or writing your thoughts down.

Not only that, I mean.

It’s confessing to the page. It’s saying what you can’t say to others.

Some of us can’t trust the reflection in the mirror. Mirrors are deceiving.

And perhaps we never had around us people who could see us for what we are.

But the paper cannot help but speak the truth even when it lies.

So yes, I spend inordinate amounts of time writing.

I write because I like breathing words.

Maybe you know what I mean.

Maybe you breathe words, too.

10 thoughts on “Why I Spend Inordinate Amounts of Time Writing

  1. That’s a very cute thing what I just read here, Vincent. Your post made me think about some things. Truly enjoyed it. I am also glad to find out things about you, my friend. Hope you’re good and healthy.

    1. Glad you’re not virused, Alina. Hope you didn’t get too bored during the last few months. I don’t know why, but I suspect you made at home at least one face mask. Maybe two. Possibly three.

      1. Viruses have many faces, Vincent. I try to stay away as much as I can from all of them. From those that I’ve known yet. No, I did not get bored. My time is all well shared so I cannot get bored. I get through some certain states but I wouldn’t call them “boredom”. Anyway, I have no talent on making face masks. So, no, I did not do any mask.

  2. Feel the same way.
    I appreciate that you keep writing no matter what.
    I haven’t had much to say. I have to go back through old photos to find something to spark a thought. Not doing well with this whole pandemic thing…..

  3. Have you read The Midnight Disease:The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain, by Alice Flaherty? I really enjoyed it, and it helped me understand myself better. It was in this book that I first encountered the word “hypergraphia” and realized there was a name for my nonstop flow of words. Flaherty, a neurologist, understands this from the inside out, since she too is a prolific writer.

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