Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Whither Creation, or, “Why Must You Write, Barb?”

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Over the past week or two, I’ve been pondering one single thought.

“Why must you keep writing, Barb?”

I write because I have stories to tell. (I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating.) And I write because I have to — what’s in me is to create something meaningful through words (and, sometimes, music) and bring a little happiness or illumination or at least something of value to the world at large.

I know. That’s a pretty gaudy statement, isn’t it? But it’s the main reason I get up in the morning.

I have things to do. Stories to tell. Edits to handle, for myself, and for others…music to play, and I hope some more music to write. (That has eluded me mostly since the day of Michael’s death eleven-plus years ago, because since then I’ve had one and only one major musical idea going through my head. Michael’s elegy. And as many times as I write it down, it just comes back in a new key or in a slightly different meter or in such a way that I start to think I’ll have to do something akin to Charles Ives’ “Variations on America” to it, in order to finally get it out of me once and for all. But as always, I digress…)

I have been a creative person for as long as I can remember. I don’t know why I’m this way; I just know that I can either work with it, and become the best creative writer, the best creative musician, the best creative editor, that I can possibly become — or I can leave my talents to wither on the vine.

And, quite frankly, I’m not exactly the vine-withering type.

So, my choice has been to keep working on my crafts. I write, I edit, I play music, I compose when I can (if I can ever get Michael’s elegy down in all its permutations, perhaps another melody will start to show up — I can live in hope, right?), and in this way I do my best to stamp my life as mine.

You are probably thinking, “Really, Barb? Ego? Is that all you’ve got?”

No, it isn’t. But I can’t quite seem to get at exactly why I do anything at all…except that I must do it, or I’d not be myself.

Or I’d not be my best self, at any rate. And as I firmly believe that if I’m going to be alive, I’d best do my best in all things, I’d better be my best self.

Or what’s the point?

So, yes, I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to keep playing music. I’m going to hope that one of these years, I’ll have another musical idea worthy of my time and effort…and of course I’m going to keep editing.

Because that’s what makes the most sense to me.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

January 17, 2016 at 6:10 am

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