“Why do you write?” was a question recently asked of me.
Here’s my answer:
I write because it is the space in which I feel most creative, most challenged, and most
compelling. Here on the page – whether literally with paper and pen or document open and cursor ashing – everything that swirls within me finds a place to land.
I write because at least for these minutes and sometimes hours, I feel calm and sane.
I write because I have something to say, lots to say. My thoughts are my own, but I long for them to take shape and form that will make their way into the world on others’ behalf, on behalf of the women’s stories I tell and love, and yes, on behalf of me.
I write because the craft of choosing particular, perfect words and then deleting them in favor of others thrills me. To realize that paragraph five is really paragraph two, that the sentence with which I started is actually my ending, that seemingly disparate threads can weave themselves together under my care, time, and attention; this is delight beyond
I write because sometimes magic descends, ascends, enters in and I become a channel, a vessel, a conduit of something other, something more. It’s of me, to be sure, and not. It’s a voice that mirrors mine, but knows and says things in ways that bypass my ever-processing mind and sometimes even my inner critic.
I write because it feels like, no, is, the place in which I feel capable and strong, wise and certain, creative and alive. All heart. Less head. All together. Less disparate. All me. Less less.
I write to name, to not ignore that which is true. I need this: my ego’s skill at disguising my every proclivity and pathology as normal and logical, convinces me it is unnecessary to do anything of the kind. When my words – my words – show up on paper, or pristine screen, I see my soul; it is grateful to finally be seen and heard, acknowledged and loved.
I write because it is a space that is bigger than me. No one asks me for money. No rides are needed. No lunches must be packed or dinners cooked. No demands are made. And all I hear is “yes.” I am allowed – all of me. My tears, my rage, my fantasies, my frustrations, my desires, my doubts, my big and brilliant thoughts, my expansive heart, my heartbreak, my strong love. There is no one I have to convince or cajole, no one for whom I have to dumb myself down, no one who can’t handle me. It is rare: this space, this respite that restores.
I write because somehow, no matter how much pours forth, there is always more. It offers me the miraculous glimpse of what the best relationship could potentially be: complete honesty, no hiding, and days, weeks, months, years, centuries needed to ever exhaust every word/thought/idea/feeling that is there to be expressed, invited, and loved out of me.
I write because it is the felt and known-with-certainty place in which I discover the discrepancies between who I truly am and who I sometimes become; between the me who stays strong, soars high, dances seductively, loves passionately, speaks boldly and the me who does not a whit of this. Writing brings me back to myself – over and over again. It stands tall, bows low and winks mischievously, then opens its arms, draws me in, holds me tight, promises me everything and means it. I am home.
Mmmm. That’s at least a start to my answer.
And you? Why do you write?