Answering Rilke's Motivation question-in three parts
Must I write? Rilke advises a young poet that the question must be answered. Wherein lies the true answer? I wrote in elementary school once. I think it was very short, maybe a page and half. I received a good grade and enjoyed a modicum of enjoyment.I also became entranced with mythology. Greek, Roman & Norse mythology to be a bit more specific.
I wrote in middle school and mostly hated it. I think because I had to write on topics which held little or no interest for me. The same was true in high school.
When I entered university, there I began to write poetry, somewhat successfully. I became prolific. I wrote daily. But alcohol and drugs nearly crushed me. I lost a large body of work.
With each struggle, when clean and sober, I wrote. With every relapse, my work would be lost. It continued this way for many years, and I mourn for my lost works
I’ve gone back to school several times, during one of these periods I learned how to write research papers. I wrote two major papers and several response essays to films, and enjoyed the courses immensely. Once was a paper against socialized medicine (Elements of Argument class) and another was regarding the struggle between science and religion (The Research Paper class) both of which I received good grades for but they too disappeared.
Several more relapses occurred, many more poems lost. I finally found a place on the web, and posted two poems from many years ago. I reposted them here along with some more recent works.
The intervening years were, from the writing POV, very stagnant. I married, raised a family and am now “closer to the end than to the beginning.” I am not that same man who wrote all those many years ago. I am older, more mature, more experienced. Whether I am any wiser, time will tell.
This is part 1 of my attempt to answer the question “Must I Write?” Feel free to begin a discussion. How did/do you answer the question?