By Elaine Viets
“Writing is a calling. Every writer digs deep into their soul to discover the roots and reasons for this urge." Warren "War of Roses" Adler wrote that. In his Writers of the World Website, we try to explain why we write.
As Adler says about his WOW site, "The answers that follow here are heartfelt, insightful, expressive and revealing – a tribute to the writer as a practitioner of a divinely inspired art form."
Travel writer Rachel Walmsley wrote:
"I’ve always written. True stories. Stories that come from travel. I can’t write about what I don’t know so everything I have ever written has been a recount of something ridiculous that has happened to me from falling down a squat toilet in Nepal to commandeering a horse from local Mexicans for a tequila mission. For as long as I have traveled, I have found myself writing. At first I didn’t realise I was writing because it was in the form of fold up letters and faxes, and then later email essays sent to a list of friends and family from internet cafes full of speed typing backpackers. Somehow telling the stories of my adventures validated the experience. Sharing them was just another way I could feel the moments play out again. I found myself with the desire to make people laugh and word had that power. Even in my diary I felt the need to play with words, add humor, be clever. I wasn’t sure why being funny was so important when I was going to be the only person to read these diaries. But what I was sure of was that I felt compelled to write. I have never considered the why behind writing before I just have. I think writing for me is reflex more than decision and that without it I would lose half my voice."
Mystery writer Francis Sparks wrote:
"When I was eleven years old, I discovered a fantasy series by way of our library’s bookmobile that sparked my imagination like nothing I had read before. That series began my love affair with dragons, magic, flawed heroes, complex villains and most of all, books. I found solace in my books during the tough times of my adolescence and I began to dream of the worlds I would create for others and the idea of writing as a profession seemed possible. Then college and life happened and the desire to write burned low for a time. Thirty found me listless and unfulfilled in my career so I finally began to write. Through fits and starts, rejection and perseverance I became the writer I wanted to be. Now, I write about complex villains and flawed heroes and big ideas and issues and if I don’t write and enough time passes I am again listless and unfulfilled. I have two small children that I hope will never have to escape to worlds of dragons and magic for any other reason than they want to."
YA/ new adult writer Natalia Leigh wrote:
"When I don’t write, I feel a sort of loneliness seep into my life. It’s as if my characters and stories are always there in the back of my mind, reprimanding me for neglecting them. Writing allows me to chase dreams and go on adventures that aren’t possible in my everyday life. And I think that’s one of the reasons I write – to escape the mundane and step into the magical. On the page I can live vicariously through my characters. I can be the huntress, the king, the assassin, the heinous villain. We all have these characters inside of us, and writing allows me to explore mine. I think Andrea Barrett says it best, 'I’ve never known a writer who didn’t feel ill at ease in the world. We all feel unhoused in some sense. That’s part of why we write. We feel we don’t fit in, that this world is not our world, that though we may move in it, we’re not of it. You don’t need to write a novel if you feel at home in the world.' I write to feel whole. Without the magic of stories and the written word, I would be so much less than I am now."
And here's what I wrote:
"My grandpa was a master storyteller, a real raconteur. He’d tell his stories in a redbrick saloon on St. Louis’s south side, the city’s German-American neighborhood. Back then, saloons were working people’s clubs. The bartender-alderman, who knew more about sin than a priest, gave Grandpa this accolade: 'He was a snappy dresser. Drank two beers and went straight home to his wife.'
"Grandpa gave me his rules for storytelling: Keep it short. Keep it funny. Make fun of yourself, not other people. He was one of eleven children, and quit school in the fourth grade to work, but he believed in education, and insisted I finish college. Grandpa wasn’t perfect: Like many Depression-era people, he was tight with a buck. Grandma swiped his pocket change to get extra money. But I hope my storytelling is as good as his. Feel free to crack open a cold one while you listen."
Tell Warren Adler why you want to write. Click on the submission form at http://www.warrenadler.com/writers-of-the-world/