These days I sound like a two year old constantly asking questions. Wrestling with words and inspiration, blank screens and pages, there are many times when I ask why. Why struggle to tell this particular story in this particular way. Why is one word better than another. What makes a good sentence. What keeps drawing me back to try again to bring a story to life, or publication, or the wider reading world. There are far easier pursuits. But none as exhilarating as getting the words onto the page in an order and sequence that exactly captures the sentiment I want to convey.
Then, last evening, reading ‘The History of Rain’ by Niall Williams, on this year’s Booker long list, I came across this:
‘We tell stories to pass the time, to leave the world for a time, or go more deeply into it. We tell stories to heal the pain of living’.
And there, as if Niall Williams got inside my mind, was an answer to why I write.