Why do I write?
The short answer is: I write to make sense of myself.
The truth is, I honestly have very little clue how people perceive me; it’s all a shifting, relative mass.
I’m soft-spoken…until I’m a train barreling down on your argument. I’m laid-back…until I’m inflexible. I’m an ice-queen until I’m shooting flames out my eyes. If it’s confusing for me to keep track of myself, I can’t really blame others for misunderstanding me.
This is something that an accurate MBTI personality type has really, well for lack of a better word, soothed me. I’m not a freak, a failure, a freakin’ weirdo. I’m actually completely normal for my rare personality type (4% of the population).
But back to the question of why I write. I’m constantly thinking and if I’m not thinking, I’m feeling. Sometimes I do both at the same time. In other words, I see a lot and I’ve got a lot to say.
But I’m reserved. If I don’t know the “protocol” for a situation, I tend towards shyness. When not in the circle of close family and friends, I become a listener more than a speaker. I’m an introvert: social interactions don’t recharge me, but instead slowly drain my batteries. I love people, but I can only take so much before I need some where quiet to process. When I find myself at the center of attention, I become self-conscious. When speaking, I often stumble over my words. Sometimes I’m good for a off-the-cuff spiel, but most of the time, ideas have to percolate. Like an actor who’s amazing on-screen but stiff in interviews, I feel empowered through my art. Through my words on a screen, I achieve an eloquence beyond my faltering soft/harsh voice. It’s not that I’m escaping through my writing, becoming someone else through it…no, never that. I am very happy with the person I’ve become. What comes out my fingers isn’t wish-fulfillment, it’s interpretation. It’s either me interpreting the world to myself, or myself to the world. Occasionally, it’s both.
People can know me for years and still feel like they don’t really know me…but read something I’ve written and you’ve met the real Hannah Hedges. In my writing, I hold very little to nothing back; I CAN’T. There’s an invisible trust between me and my keyboard: no lies allowed here. Everything must ring true, whether I’m reviewing a movie or describing my day or writing a scene in a story.
Why do I write? Because I have to. Because I am a dichotomy, the union of opposites and I have this pathological need to understand myself. Because the shy, small girl sees things and doesn’t have the “umph” or the abandon to give soliloquies in McDonalds. Because the reckless crusader can’t brawl out all the idiots in person. Because stories haunt me like my own personal entourage of ghosts. Or gaggle of invisible friends.
Because if the words don’t flow from my fingers to the keyboard, they take to hammering at the inside of my skull and that freaking hurts.