I'll admit it. Maybe I'll be shunned from the writing community forever, which I see as a castle in the sky that Stephen King is...well...the king of. But I'm going to admit it anyway:
I laugh, when writers talk about being tortured and bleeding into their spiral notebooks and wrenching their souls in order to get the words out. I giggle, when they talk about communing with their characters like mad fake psychics, cracking empty chicken eggs and piping incense into their purple rooms as though it aids breathing. I get annoyed, when they imply no-one understands and other writers don't care as much as they do, because they're so special.
And yet, when I think about why I write, my answer is probably just as mad as theirs. I write, because I love my characters. I probably love them more than I love many actual real people. They drive me wild with love on a consistent and unhealthy basis, and they deserve to be written about because of that love.
However, I do think I differ from a few of the more bonkers writers on some pretty crucial points: this does not torture me. I don't weep daily over it. I don't think I'm special or different or better than anyone, because of it. I don't think I communicate with my characters on the astral plane. I know they are not real.
I just love them. They fill my life with light and joy, not excrutiating bleeding darkness. They give me pleasure when there's none around me to be had; they burn brightly when things become dim. They've provided me with carthasis, when I thought none was possible. I've felt at my lowest ebb, and cried until I was exhausted, and they give me vitality and life and power again.
Of course, other things in my life help me out of dark moments, or give me as much - if not more - joy. But when that happens - when a friend is kind, or my husband hugs me - I hug them back. I thank them, over and over. They know I love them.
This is probably the first time I've ever spoken aloud, to people not extremely close to me, about how my characters and my writing often does that exact same thing. So I'm saying it now: thank you, writing, for making my life in so many ways. Thank you, my gaggle of crazy characters, for always being there for me, day and night, and never letting me down. Not once.
So yeah. I write, because writing is love.