2.05.2007,12:02 AM
The Passion
People I meet over the last year have commented to me "I feel like I know you", some have asked me where my writing originates. I have no answers. It just 'is'. A continual process of give and take. I take what I see, feel, hear, taste, think and give it out on paper or little bitty electrons all excited on your monitor screen. And many of my writings are not public.

I have likened it to the agonizing drive of a character in the short story by Harlan Ellison, "I have no mouth and I must scream."[1] In the story Ted, the sole surviving human in a reality perpetuated by a machine, is turned into a formless mass but still retains consciousness as a human being. The machine alters his perception of time so that Ted is eternally anguished. Ted wants to scream out his pain but he can't because his new form lacks a mouth.

Some of you may have felt that drive before. Not just anguish and pain, but love, joy and wonderment. It's irresistible. Many writers write because we have to. Like the wolf howling at night, the geese flying south for the winter, a moth drawn to the light. The hole in the dam from which water escapes, a deafened Beethoven's musical composition.

Writing is our outlet. It is our mouth when we must scream.

As I have tried to explain to a few individuals, writing is a passion. It's a part of you, like your foot, hand or ear. It's like taking a breath and exhaling. But you must have passion in order to write with passion. You have to let yourself feel that passion in order to write about it.

One of my favorite authors, Edward Abbey, describes it eloquently:
That about sums up my literary career. Which is not and never has been a career anyway, but rather a passion. A passion! Fueled in equal parts by anger and love. How can you feel one without the other? Each implies the other. A writer without passion is like a body without a soul. Or even more grotesque, like a soul without a body. [2]
I meet too many people who bury or deny their passion. And they can't write, sing or play music. Some can't even love or cry.

They can't scream.

[1] A review of Ellison's collection of short stories in
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. The story won a Hugo Award in 1968 and was censored in many towns.

[2] Abbey's introduction to his own collection of writing, The Best of Edward Abbey.

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posted by Macrobe
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