There’s a meme going around LJ, doing its best to scour up deep and pithy responses. The meme is simply this: “Why do you write?” It’s sort of a silly question, I think. The immediate response I had to it was, “Why do I write … what?

Well, I blog because I like having an audience. I enjoy the appearance of talking to other people, and not just to myself (like usual). A blog is a handy means of keeping an eye on distant friends and relatives; it gives me an easy way to keep track of folks, and it allows them to keep track with me. Also, I can blog in my underwear if I feel like it.

I write parody because it’s intellectually stimulating yet lightweight and fun. I write letters because sometimes my mom makes me. I write magnetic refrigerator poetry because it’s like Drano for writer’s block (no kidding – you must try it sometime). I write short stories because occasionally people offer me money for them; and besides, it’s a good way to break up the intimidating monotony of full-length novels. That’s also the reason I write flash fiction once in awhile.

And I write books because I like to — and because I’m not really good at much else. I’m so numerically dyslexic that I can’t recite simple multiplication tables. I’m too clumsy and lazy to dance. I’m terrible at sports except for volleyball, at which I am merely mediocre. I can’t sing for shit. I don’t play any instruments more complex than a kazoo. I don’t draw very well, and I couldn’t paint to save my life.

But I can read like a fiend, and I type over 100 words per minute. I like to tell stories; I like to make people laugh, or shriek, or cringe. Maybe it’s a power thing then, I don’t know. It might be.

But at the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than a simple desire to make something pretty* — whatever your conception or definition of “pretty” may be. And really, I think, it’s not.

* Probably the wrong word. How about, “aesthetically satisfying?”