The pleasure of writing is in the unwritten

Every day, I write for a paycheck. Every week, I write for a variety of blogs that offer me a chance at a little recognition. Every now and then, I pen a poem or short story and send it out into the universe for publication. But none of these are a reason why I enjoy writing.

Empty book

Some of the best books have yet to be written.

Twenty years ago, I was the kind of guy who could never pass a bookstore without buying something. I’d purchase a paperback, a hardcover, or a bargain book without much thought about why I was doing it. It was a compulsion, an obsession, to surround myself with books. As a writer, I wanted to read everything and become one with the words.

Then one day — I remember I was in the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Topeka — I looked at the multitude of books in the science fiction section. Rows upon rows of titles, written by grand masters and new authors over the past sixty years. But as I passed a finger over the brightly colored spines, passing from story to story, something occurred to me: I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

All those stories, volumes of them, didn’t resonate with me. I had read as many horrible stories as I had great ones. And although I hadn’t read every great book ever written, I knew one thing for certain. None of these books were the story I wanted to read.

That story hadn’t been written yet.

This is why I enjoy writing. Not because I want to get published, or make money, or become famous. (Although I wouldn’t say no to any of those things.) But because I have an overwhelming desire to read stories that no one has written.

It’s up to me. I’ll write them. And maybe someday someone will read them and imagine their own stories.

Kevin Wohler is a copywriter and novelist living in Lawrence, Kansas. During the day, he works at a digital marketing agency in the Kansas City area. When time remains, he likes to tell stories of the weird and bizarre. And sometimes, he writes them down for others to read.

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