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Why I Write: A Personal Statement

This is for me.  If anyone else reads it, that's fine.  I'm not making this entry private.  But this isn't supposed to be pretty or well-crafted or profound.  This is just a brief freewrite about why I write and why I must continue writing; I'm keeping it here so I can look back at it when I need to.

There is power and beauty and music in words.  I've felt it my entire life, as I've read others' writing.  Books have been solace, challenge, adventure, and guide.  I suspect many others would say the same. 

While growing up, I was told that I wrote "well."  I still don't know exactly what that means, but I accept that I can compose a sentence that communicates something in an intelligible fashion. 

And I want to communicate–with myself and with other people. 

I sporadically kept a journal during my adolescent years.  When I found that journal years later and reread it, I was so mortified by how immature and foolish I sounded that I threw it away. 

I wish I realized then what I realize now–that that journal was a link to who I was–and who I was then was ok. 

The years have made the contents of that journal very fuzzy.  Still, I know there wasn't anything awful in it.  It was just the writing of a much younger person, and it was filled with the concerns of a much younger person.  Now, I can't quite recall who I was during those years, and I mourn that written record of a particular time and a particular self.

Memory is tricky and imprecise, and already, so much has faded.  If I could un-trash that journal, I would.  That I trashed it is one of my biggest regrets.

I could develop amnesia or Alzheimer's.  Or I could age normally and just not remember the little details that make up a life.  And I want to remember.  When it's all said and done, what is life but a sum of all those tiny moments?

Whether it's journaling, blogging, or writing fiction, writing is a way for me to remember my experiences and synthesize them.  It's a way to make sense of my life.  It's a way to articulate what it means to be human, to be me. 

Writing is craft.  (I write to learn.)

Writing is entertainment.  (I write to entertain myself and other people.)

Writing is an escape.  (I write to forget.)

Writing is an act of faith.  (I write to believe.)

Writing is an act of remembrance.  (I write to remember.)

Writing is an act of living.  (I write to live.)

The times when I lacked confidence in my ability to write weren't times of abject misery.  But I was frustrated and hungry, and I tried to fill those empty spaces with things that couldn't fill them.  I have an itch to write, an itch to create.  I get cranky and dissatisfied when I don't write.  I recognize that now and I honor it. 

What I write might be crap.  It might be derivative or dull or lacking in artistic merit.  That's ok.  I won't stop writing.  Never again.  I need it. 

No subject will be off-limits.  A lifetime isn't long enough to write about everything, but I won't consciously close off specific subjects, themes, or types of writing.   There is light and dark in life.  People laugh, cry, fuck, fight, kill, love, die, despair, doubt, and wrong one another.  Life is fluff, angst, smut, comedy, drama, and tragedy.  Those are near universals of the human experience.  I won't avoid writing about any of those things because someone else might be offended or saddened or disagree with my view of the world.

Not your cup of tea?  Don't read it.  That is ok.  People read for as many different reasons as they write. 

Silence does not equal goodness.  Silence equals unhappiness. 

There is power and beauty and music in words.


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I’m so glad to have found someone online who can articulate so well how I, too, feel about writing (and expressing myself that way) but sometimes struggle to voice. It helps me shape my own thoughts and inspires me.

"What I write might be crap. It might be derivative or dull or lacking in artistic merit. That's ok. I won't stop writing. Never again. I need it."

It’s true: it is a part of my soul and if I don’t write it feels like a piece of myself is lost (ladiesophiekitty, above).
Having pushed through a five-year (!) writer’s block, it fills me with the greatest joy to flex these mental and emotional muscles again; like getting reacquainted with an old friend I’ve dearly missed all those years. Even when I compare my work to other writers I admire (you among them) and find it lacking in comparison. I’m okay with that now; it doesn’t stop me from writing anymore, not even from posting it online, which I recently decided to start doing.

This remark from you (in response to a comment) struck a really deep chord (and even a tear duct ;-p), especially because it seems to be mirrored both in my writing and my personal life right now:

“everyone has something to say—even though it can take time to figure out what that something is.”

And “Silence equals unhappiness” really drove that home.
I feel I owe you a debt of gratitude, because while I am aware that the writing and the decision to write again (and post it) are mine, your thoughts and your writing have certainly contributed to that, and inspired me a great deal. Thank you!

Congratulations on breaking a five-year writer's block. :) That's fantastic news; thanks for sharing it with me. And I'm thrilled that this post moved you; if it played even a tiny part in getting you to write again, I'm happy. ♥ I do believe that everyone has something to say. Figuring out just what that is is half the fun -- and the frustration.

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