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Why write?

It's really like people who do jigsaw puzzles. They bend over the table putting the pieces
together in an order that creates a picture. They tend to be quite intense about it, and
they find it hard to walk past the table without finding and putting in another piece.

Writers do that. They put words together in an order that makes sense, at least to them.
They create a picture with the words. They certainly can be terribly intense, and if
the writing is going well, they keep going back to the computer (or the big yellow
legal pad if they're the longhand kind of writers) and having another look, often
unable to resist the temptation to sit down and keep going.

The big difference between the puzzlers and the writers is that it's quickly apparent
whether the puzzle has been done correctly or not. Some writers may be so confident
of their abilities that they, too, know what they've done is on target. But many
more are unsure -- they tend to poke at the words, change some, fret, look for
reassurance from a reader they trust.

They can also feel dissatisfied, almost as if the work is not quite finished. It's
the way a jigsaw fanatic feels when there's a piece missing, and it's time to
kneel on the rug and search carefully. Writers hope not to have missing pieces,
but they instinctively know when something's not there -- and it can be tough
to search the book and the brain and figure out what the missing link is.

When it all seems to be there, it's wonderful in either case. I do jigsaw puzzles, too.
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