Why I Write – Inspiration and Desperation

Yes, I know – the title is a little self-indulgent, but sometimes you need to get an eye into the mind of the writer. I think it’s important to have a reason to write, a driving force which guides your muse. Also, it’s an excuse to have a vent – and who doesn’t love to do that?

For myself, and I imagine most other people who feel creatively inclined, creativity is a form of expression. It’s a chance to break free from the mundane and explore other horizons. It’s a way to channel feelings and thoughts, both bad and good, in a way that is healthy and therapeutic – it’s your mind breaking free of its regimented thought patterns.

For me, I always find it important to have some kind of creative output. My job is, for want of a better description, soul-crushingly boring. I work for a large company, doing the same thing day in and day out. It’s very dry, very corporate. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the job as such – the colleagues are great, and my boss is too – but the tasks themselves are repetitive and mind-numbing.

The thing is, I’m a cog. Nothing more, nothing less. When you reduce my role to its basic elements, that’s what you get. There’s no creativity, no expression – you’ve just got to keep your cog turning at the pace required. Keep the pace and you keep the peace. It’s sterile, suffocating, and woefully life-sapping.

When I call to speak to HR or to order new IT equipment, I don’t give my name, I give my number. I’m faceless. Just a number that completes a set task. As depressing as that sounds (and it certainly feels it sometimes), it’s this pent up frustration which fuels my inspiration.

As I’m sure it is for any creative work, the creator’s life and psyche bleeds into their work every now and again. There’s a short story I’ve written for ‘Bleaker Horizons’ called ‘Seromine’. Each time I’ve gone back to edit it, I realise that it’s a dead giveaway that I’m a frustrated office worker. The character the story focuses on a man whose days consist of completing endless and ever increasing workloads just to get his hit of happiness at the end of the week. While not entirely representative of my day job as a whole, there are certainly strong veins that run through it which reflect my 9-5 grind, and the elusive reward and recognition that many workers strive for.

I’ve probably painted a very depressing image of my work-life, but the thing is, it’s this sterile environment that fires the creativity. Just as there is no light without dark, I find the stale corporate environment a ripe ground for my imagination. It gives me an adversary; something to fight back against, in my own way.

I think of the company I work for as something that pumps a bland grey into the world – sucking the colour and vibrancy from life itself. As a cog, I contribute to that to some degree, so I have a need to fight back. It’s guerrilla warfare*. When the company has its back turned, I create colour and life, and I feed that back into the world with my words. It gives a sense of purpose and responsibility to the words I put to keyboard.

If there is a point to this post, then I’ll attempt to end with it. Whoever you are, and whatever you create; be it writing, painting, or simply happiness – go bring that colour into the world. Keep fighting the good fight – because the world needs more of it.

*I was going to say ‘wordfare’, but I thought it was a bit too much. Then I laughed at it, so I’ve put it here for other people to cringe/laugh at too.

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