I just happened on a blog post by Neil Gaiman. I do not actually know who he is – except that others interested in the fantasy genre seem to assume everyone will know him. Well, I suppose it is because I read only for work now. Writing is my pleasure, my outlet, my need.
Anyway I started to read through a speech this Neil Gaiman fellow gave to the Mythopaeic society a few years ago and had just posted to his blog. He begins by describing how he encountered the Narnia books. Then he writes:
C.S. Lewis was the first Person to make me want to be a writer.
I stopped there and had to come in here to write my reaction to that statement:
Nobody made me want to be a writer.
I can remember quite clearly the first thing I wrote – an essay actually – and I wrote it because I had to, not because I had read some other writer’s work that inspired me. I don’t mean it was a school assignment; I do mean the thoughts that found their way onto a yellow lined pad of paper in pencil, just had to come out of my head. I wrote many essays in those years – the first being when I was 13. I also wrote poetry, and tried a few [very bad] novels. I wrote one absurdist play that my High School English teacher thought superb.
But I wrote because of an inner compulsion to write – it was a need.
It is a need.