We write because we have to

Once upon a time I interviewed (by phone) Dave Barry, longtime Miami Herald columnist, because he was coming to speak at an event in the town where I worked for the local newspaper.

He was disparaging hand-wringing, ego-driven “writerly processes” … to the point where he finally burst out laughing because his assistant wrote and held up a note reminding him he was talking to me because he would be speaking at a writers’ conference.

He had a point, though. It even was reiterated in, all of places, a recent TBS “Men at Work” episode (apologies and thanks to the very cool Danny Masterson), and it is this: WRITERS WRITE.

You can’t just have the idea(s). You can’t just want to do it. You have to have the compulsion.

And so here I am tonight, reaching out to a national blogger, saying, hey, I used to do some unpaid stuff for you, want this column? ’cause it’s banging around my skull and has to be put down, and maybe it would fit your audience.

If she says no? OK, it’ll go here on my blog, to a (vastly) smaller audience.

The point is, it is getting written regardless. Because I have this idea I HAVE to get OUT OF MY HEAD.

That’s what being a writer is, at its core. We’re surgeons, in so many ways.

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