by Wendy VisserRecently, someone asked me why I write. My immediate quip was, “Well, it beats cleaning toilets or sticking my head inside a dirty oven.”
On later reflection, her question deserves a more in-depth response, so why do I write? And why is poetry my genre of choice?
It’s the challenge of covering the human condition from cradle to grave reducing it to a page. I can assume any identity. Let it travel to exotic places, let it loose in back alleys, or settle it humming softly before a mantel fireplace.
I can capture (eavesdrop on) strangers’ conversations. Put their words into stories and poems. I can kill and not be held accountable; champion the underdog, banish monsters from underneath the bed, or open closets and bring skeletons out to play. Dig in the trenches, and excavate the price of war from the sounds of buried sighs.
I love living dangerously− especially on paper.
Writing is a lonely, and often poorly-paid occupation. Sometimes ideas lead to words that fill the page as easily as a stroll in the park and at other times, it is like a trip to the dentist or a visit to your local blood donor clinic. But through it all, the urge to create is the driving force behind my need to write. It’s been said that everyone has a ‘book in them’. That’s like saying everyone can be an athlete or an actor, a doctor or a plumber and that is simply not true. People may have stories they want to share but the ability to attract an audience is an art that demands diligence and discipline.
Nothing else fulfills or satisfies or identifies me as much as completion and publication of my work. I live to write and write to live.
Wendy Visser is a long time CWC member. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies nationally & internationally and many of her poems have received awards. She is the author of ‘Riding A Wooden Horse’,an award-winning collection of poetry and her second poetry book,’This Side of Beyond’ was launched in November of 2011.