“Why do you write?”
I ask the question aloud. I just don’t understand.
“What is your motivation?”
The text is cut and pasted from elsewhere, the photographs belong to somebody else. None of it is theirs, so where is the satisfaction?
I understand why copywriters ‘borrow’ information/experiences from others. They’re earning from doing so, for themselves and the companies they write for. And I have the utmost respect for copywriters who are able to sit at a desk, research places and create something which comes across as insightful, original and real.
There aren’t many of those about though.
But bloggers? People writing for themselves and their ‘followers’, that I don’t understand. How can they feel good about palming off something that isn’t theirs?
There is another group of writers I don’t quite understand. Those who use their own words but don’t make any attempt to say anything new. I’m not suggesting I come up with something original every time I put pen to paper. I wish. But I strive to have a different voice, to say something that belongs to me and me alone, to observe from a slightly different angle. It is never, ever good enough.
So when I start to read a travel blog about a location which could have been cut and pasted straight from Wikipedia, I want to ask the author ‘what was your purpose in writing this? You must know it could equally well have been written by a copywriter sitting in a room a thousand miles away.’
They are writing as an obligation. Possibly to maintain a sham of a façade they have created in order to… well, travel in the cases I’m specifically thinking about.
But there is no joy, curiosity, emotion of any kind in what they write. It is not a calling, not an addiction where if you’re prevented for any length of time from banging away at the keyboard trying to create something, you get twitchy.
Their work has me staring, bemused, at a screen of bland nothingness wondering time and time again.
Why do you write?