I've always been a writer.

I learned to read before I was four years old, and even at that young age, I was devouring books. Rarely literally, although it did happen from time to time, and I'm sure there's still a staple or two rusting away in my stomach as a result.

I was always a story-teller - I'd make up all sorts of tales and regale my mother, my friends, and any other poor bastard unlucky enough to get stuck in a room with me. I'd write "novels" for my family - illustrated, of course - that were flagrant ripoffs of whatever book I was currently nose deep in.

I remember, very clearly, being in the second grade and writing a journal entry about pirates. It was, to be more precise, about lego pirates, which were, to me, the coolest thing ever. My teacher, a lovely woman who twenty-odd years later I still love dearly, wrote in my journal "this is really good! You should be a writer when you grow up".

I didn't know what she meant, and when she explained to me that people can have careers writing, I was hooked. From that day in grade two onward, I knew I was going to grow up to be a writer.

But you get older, and sometime about five years ago, I came to the realization that while I wanted to be professionally published, I didn't want to be a career writer. I had met enough writers to know that theirs was not a life I wanted to live. And by then, I knew enough about my writing style to know that making a career of writing would drastically shorten my lifespan.

See, when I write, like seriously write, I get very much into it. Every feeling becomes honed to a razor's edge, to the point where my skin feels like it's on fire. I put every emotion into my writing, so that by the time I'm done, I feel like I've ran a marathon. And since my stories are usually cynical and rather bleak, I am usually an emotional wreck after putting out a good dozen pages or so. The prospect of making a living by perpetually putting myself in that state of heightened melancholia was not one that interested me in the slightest.

But I still felt the itch to write. If I don't flex my writing muscles, as it were, I begin to go crazy. Or rather, crazier than usual, because let's face it, I'm already half baked. And that, dear friends, is how this blog was formed.

It was a chance for me to get the desire to write out of my system, without being done in a format that would force me to agonize over every word. And the desire was, hopefully, to have a product that I could look back on that would entertain me. And, mostly, it's fulfilled its purpose.

We see this in every form of artist. Graphic artists sketch every day, even if it's just some quick doodle in the margins. Musicians will play through scales, or even finger chords in the air when they're bored. Drummers are always tapping every surface available, and poets are busy smoking crack cocaine and trying to sleep with their cousins.

The point is, every artist has to indulge in their craft, even if it doesn't mean something, because that's who they are. I sometimes wonder who we are, as people, that drives us to do this. That drives us to create.

But I don't want to think about it too much, because I'm half afraid I'd figure out the answer, and ruin everything.

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