"I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all." ~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977
I write because it comes easier to me than speaking. I write in my head all the time. My head is the place where I record everything, where the words come together. I am always writing something inside my head. I write because it's something I feel confident doing, and because when I compare myself to others, as I sometimes do, I don't feel like I come up short, like I don't measure up. I write because I grew up loving the stories that words can tell--how words and stories can take me away from a sometimes ordinary life and allow my soul to soar with adventure. I wanted to be able to do that, too, not so much with stories, but with snippets of my life that let the truth of my life shine through.
When I write, I think a part of me wants other people to tell me that they feel the same way I do, but I'm never mad or disappointed if they don't because life isn't about us being cookie cutter versions of each other and I'm ok with that. I write because it's like breathing to me--so effortless--when most everything else feels hard. I write because it's something I can call my own, it's my thing. I write because there's nothing more challenging to me than a blank page waiting to be filled with the words of my heart.
Writing feels like I am leaving pieces of me everywhere for someone else to find and piece together. It makes me feel brave that I am taking the risk of putting myself out there because mostly I am content to keep things safely inside me where no risk is involved. I write because I've always wished I could paint or draw, and writing is the closest I will ever get to being an artist. I write because I have things to say, and even if they are things that other people have said hundreds of times before, I like to think I'm saying them differently, that I'm making my story my own.
I write because I grew up in a family that didn't talk about feelings, and consequently I had so many things inside me that I knew needed to get out, and writing provided me that outlet. I write because it's like therapy without spending a dime. I write because I want something permanent that will say I was here, that I lived and loved and wrote it all down, and did not care if I sounded foolish or crazy or rotten or ridiculous. I write because it's something I love doing. I want people to read what I write and come back to learn more but if they don't, I think I am pretty much content knowing that I have this place where I can be the me I don't always get to be.
I write because I cannot ever imagine not writing. It's a passion that never alters. It's a gift that can't be measured. I write for the peace it brings me in the moments of my life when I am searching for a soft place to land, and it does not ever fail me.
More than anyone will ever know, writing is my salvation.
Why do you write?
The New Civil War
17 hours ago