The Urge to Write

The urge to write is a funny old thing, isn’t it? I’ve always had it, since I was a kid I think, and obviously, over the years, I’ve nurtured it and attempted to turn it into some kind of career. (Ho ho.) But this is different – going through a shitty, deeply personal thing and writing about it and putting it on the internet. And I know, many writers, many professional writers would never do this in a million years. Yet it feels right to me. It is odd. Even in the car on the way back from hospital tonight I was composing something in my head. Not this. Something else. Something much more depressing than this.

I do it – people do it – because it helps. It helps me, I think, to talk about it. I also know that it can help other people too. It is after all, art, and if art is good for anything – and I like to think it is – it’s good for helping us remember that we’re not alone. (There is I’m sure a conversation to be had about whether a diary, which is essentially what this is, can ever really be art, but if you want to have that conversation, I would be really pleased if you would fuck off and have it elsewhere.)

I also love the idea, I can’t deny, of touching people. Even – maybe even especially – with something so deeply personal.  Maybe not. It feels more noble than fiction though. Certainly more noble than fiction dressed as truth. I’m thinking of the tears I teased when I was living a virtual lie. But there’s always an element of manipulation. Even now. (Maybe that’s the definition of art.) 

Thinking about it though, it’s all the same thing. I only write because I want to connect. And I only want to be good at it because I want to be good at connecting. Because connecting – communicating with love and honesty and a desire to make one another’s lives more bearable – is by far the most important thing we do. Actually, maybe it’s the only thing we do – in all of its various forms – that’s any good.

Anyway, my 400-limit is (thankfully) approaching.

Thanks to all of you who’ve been in touch – here or elsewhere – with your kind words and condolences. They have made me realise that that’s actually how we get through this stuff.

So thanks.





About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you'll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven't already.

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