Why Writers Write

In The Fog

I’ve had a lot of time lately to think and read. Can’t do much else. Doc says I tore ligaments right off the bone in my shoulder … it’s one of the worst repairs he’s had to make.

Whoopee. Not exactly the way I wanted to enter the record book.

Surgery was weeks ago, but I’m finally able to get out of the restrictive sling that immobilized my arm and into rehabilitation therapy … where they tell me it will be six months to a year before things return to normal.

Word of advice. Don’t tear your rotator cuff. There’s a reason pro ball players often don’t return from this injury. It’s a long and damned painful rehabilitation.

Oh, I know there are a lot worse things that could happen … and I’m grateful they didn’t, so I try not to complain. But, just so you know, my bride says I’m not very successful at it.

What really bums me the most, I wanted to finish the third book of my REICHOLD STREET trilogy this year, but I may not make it. I’ve only written about six thousand words and my writing has been slowed to a crawl.

On the good side, I’ve discovered I can hunt-and-peck with one hand on the keyboard … so I blog. Doing it this way (peck, peck, peck), at least I have a lot of time to think.

I Like What I Do
I like being a writer. Human beings are born to communicate and make connections. Words give us the means to reflect upon and interpret the world around us, and to share our interpretation of the world with others.

As babies we imitated the sounds we heard in the language of those around us. We delighted in repeating them and seeing recognition in the eyes of listeners.

As artists, and especially as writers, we long to recapture the enthusiasm of childhood. I know I do. Authors use words to bring thoughts to life on the page, and I find that exciting.

Stephen King once said, Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; and sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.

And while today most of us have exchanged pen and paper for the computer screen, we still use the words we learned as children to express our emotions.

In those ancient days before electronic communication (or even typewriters) an author wrote with a pen, one letter at a time, with cursive letters (do they still teach that?) joining and blooming into a word, each word helping to shape the sentence structure.

How you wrote, and what you wrote about, were uniquely your own. But you wrote.

Everyone Writes
Everyone writes. Think about it. We all create with words, spoken or written. Most of us have written stories and essays in school, kept a journal, written or commented on a blog, composed a business letter, or exchanged emails with our neighbors.

Authors, however, try to create wings for their thoughts, releasing them to reflect the life stories around them … and shape the thoughts echoed in everyone’s soul.

Words are never more alive than this.

Writers … good ones anyway … can create worlds. Through the process of their writing we discover their stories are true, even though we know they’re fiction, because they reflect a universe in which we are all inexplicably linked to everything around us.

For some, writing is redemption. They sculpt ordinary words until they shine, putting out into the universe something that has never existed before, tales that delight or entertain or inform.

Just like everything else in life, there are those with a natural ability for the craft, but the ones who succeed also make room for the practice involved. That’s right … practice.

Good writing is part science and part gift. The gift part is something a lucky few are born with. The science part is called reading. Reading the works of other people who wrote the books you wish you had written … that is studying the craft.

Without that study, a writer only possesses a small piece of the puzzle. Good writers have to read. Have to.

Writers seem to know by intuition that somewhere in the gray fog of the world there are words with their name on them, imprisoned like a fairy-tale princess, waiting to be released.

I like to believe that’s true.

To be a writer, your task is to to discover them and share them with the world. No one else can do it for you.

For now, I’ll do my prescribed exercises getting ready for rehab again in the morning. Then I’ll read a bit, to get tuned-up.

Tomorrow, it’s back to work.



You can find my books as eBooks or paperback on Amazon, or at Barnes & Noble. You’re also invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or like my Book of Face page. You can also follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter. You might even decide to read my Kirkus Review.


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7 Responses to “Why Writers Write”

  1. benzeknees Says:

    This is how I feel about writing. If nothing comes out of my brain, it’s my job to put words into it – to mull over & taste. I spend my days with words, they are my best friends.


  2. Ron Herron Says:

    Thanks, Tim. I follow your blog, too. 😉


  3. T. W. Dittmer Says:

    Get better, man. Always enjoy your work.


  4. Ron Herron Says:

    Glad you liked it. Thanks, Jim.


  5. James Sloan Says:

    Nice …. Well written piece. Hope your recovery is quick so u can “enjoy” the mechanics of writing as well as your creative process.

    Best regard…. Jes

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Ron Herron Says:

    Thanks for the concern. I’m doing everything I can to get back to writing full-time.


  7. The Story Reading Ape Says:

    OUCH! – Hope the healing is faster than expected Ron 🙂


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